Have you ever been told that you “can’t see something that’s right under your nose” or maybe that you “can’t see the forest for the trees”? Maybe you have tried to interpret the lyrics of a song? In each of these situations, we call on the complex construct of perception.
Perception is the set of processes by which we recognize, organize and make sense of the sensations we receive from environmental stimuli.
In this article, and the future to come, I’ll focus in visual perception. I’ll write about some basic concepts such as depth perception and gestalt approaches but also more complex theories about top-down (constructive perception) and bottom-up (direct perception) processes since these processes are good to understand if you want to create efficient communication, advertising and strategic concepts for your company.
Consider this image:
Dallenbach, K.M. 1951, A puzzle picture with a new principle of concealment
To most people, the figure initially looks like a blur of meaningless shadings. There is a recognizable creature staring you in the face, but you might not see it. When most people finally see what’s in the picture they feel a little “cowed”.
Did you get the clue?
The figure of the cow is hidden within the continuous gradations of shading that constitute the picture. The thing is that before you recognized the figure as a cow, you correctly sensed all aspects of the figure, but you had not yet organized those sensations to form a mental representation of stimulus that is perceived of the cow.
This is an example of that sometimes we cannot perceive what does exist. At other times, we perceive things that do not exist.
This was a brief introduction to more articles about how perception works and how you can take advantage of this knowledge in your marketing and strategic work.