Throughout the entire history of contemporary psychology, perception has not been given a fair definition. This has persisted until today. Throughout this period, it has always been assumed that the perceiver is a passive recording device. Moreover, the perceiver has an extremely complicated design. Such type of vitro psychology has been deficient for failing to ascertain the reality of daily life perception (Bruner & Postman, 1948: 205).
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Similarly, the contemporary nerve- muscle psychophysiology failed to clarify everyday behaviour. These aspects are extremely vital in the area. Furthermore, scholars such as Crozier, Hecht, Titchener, Wundt, Fechner, and Weber played a vital role in laying the foundation of perception. However, their work is only a beginning since a majority of the current scholars are expanding on it.
This paper is a critical review of the article “value and need as organizing factors in perception”, which was written by Bruner, J and Goodman, C. in 1947. The article was published as the 42nd volume of the Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology. The critical analysis is founded on pages 33–44.
It is worth pointing out that what an individual sees (perception) is determined by several factors. These include the nervous system, stimulus, personal values, and needs. It is worth elaborating some of the technical terms used in the article.
Equivocality refers to the ambiguity linked to stimulus. Behavioral determinants refer to spontaneous processing, which results from people’s preceding familiarities and the current state. On the other hand, the terms autochthonous determinants refer to automatic processing, which is similar in all human beings since their elementary brain design is the same.
The article focuses on three hypotheses. First, objects that have a greater social value are thought to have advanced organization susceptibility. This is associated with behavioral determinants. In plain English, this implies that valued objects have more perception linked to them. Second, a person may have a superior need for objects that are valued socially.
In such a case, there is a noticeable mark for behavioral elements’ manoeuvre. Plainly, this implies that children possessing higher needs perceive them as relatively bigger as opposed to children whose needs are less. This was assessed using an experimental group that was separated into two constituent groups. There was the deprived and prosperous group where each had ten children.
The ten prosperous children came from Boston’s progressive school. Their parents were professional people and prosperous businessmen. On the other hand, the ten deprived children came from Boston’s slums. This hypothesis was founded on the sensible postulation that children from the poor background had an advanced particular desire for money. This was not the case for children from the prosperous background.
Third, behavioral determinants’ operation is enabled by perceptual equivocality. This is only achieved in cases where equivocality minimises autochthonous determinants’ operation. Moreover, the smooth operation of behavioral determinants should not be minimised.
In plain English, this implies that there is a high likelihood of ambiguous stimuli being influenced by values and needs as opposed to non- ambiguous stimuli (Bruner & Postman, 1947: 304).
As far as the article’s design is concerned, independent groups were used for the first hypothesis, natural independent groups for the second, and repeated measures for the third. In the article, the initials DV refer to the percentage nonconformity from the genuine size. The IVs manipulated in the article’s study include the children’s background, the absence or presence of a coin, and cardboard or actual coin.
The participants in the study included ten years old children who attended progressive school or resided in Boston’s settlement house. Various graphs illustrate the relationship between the controls and experimentals (Bruner, 1946: 241).
Irrespective of the fact that there is a keen emphasis on the segregation of all personality aspects, among them perception, it is extremely difficult to separate them from other aspects (Bruner & Goodman, 1947: 37). This is attributed to the fact that a person is made up of an intricate dynamical system.
There is a principal challenge in comprehending how the perception procedure is impacted on by other synchronized mental functions. This is in addition to how these functions are alternatively affected by perceptual procedures’ operation.
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From the information present in the article, it is evident that perception never imitates reality. What people see is greatly influenced by their expectations. The article concludes that experimental psychologists have virtually been focussing on the exclusive perception domain.
However, for there to be a consensus regarding the daily operation of perception, personality students and social psychologists have to focus keenly on Hollingworth’s central- tendency impact. As far as the curves’ slope is concerned, it is imperative to identify a negative slope.
It is important for all smaller values to appear bigger in size in comparison to the series’ centre. Those that are bigger than the series’ centre should appear smaller (Bruner & Postman, 1949: 27). The subjects in any study should be selected carefully to ensure validity.
Bruner, J & Goodman, C 1947, “Value and need as organizing factors in perception”, Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, vol. 42, pp. 33–44.
Bruner, JS & Postman, L 1947, “Tension and tension release as organizing factors in perception”, Journal of Personality, vol. 15 iss. 4, pp. 300-308.
Bruner, JS & Postman, L 1948, “Symbolic value as an organizing factor in perception”, The Journal of Social Psychology, vol. 27 iss. 2, pp. 203-208.
Bruner, JS & Postman, L 1949, “Perception, cognition, and behavior”, Journal of personality, vol. 18 iss. 1, pp. 14-31.
Bruner, JS 1946, “Social value and need as organizing factors in perception”, American Psychologist, vol. 1, pp. 241.