Like most other students, I took this course to fulfill my Psych degree requirements, and because it sounded interesting. I am looking to go into counseling, however I have always wanted to round out my undergrad experience by delving more into cognitive psychology subjects, perception being one of them. My expectation of this class before it started did not match the actuality of the subject matter. For some reason, probably due to the fact that I have only taken those kinds of psychology classes in the past, I expected this class to be much more humanistic and less technical. Turns out, I learned more about physiology and anatomy than I bargained for. I feel that through this, I have a much greater understanding of how our physical makeup effects the way we interact with the world around us and thus, why we behave as such.
The subject-matter of this class covered all the bases. It seems very specific, learning advanced technical terms at some points, and general at others times, like how essentially we learned about the physiology of all five human senses. This textbook had a very critical way of putting into words what we all of us have already experienced and known about. For example, I had an "AH HAH" moment when reading Chapter 10 about perceiving size and the Holoway and Boring Experiment. The section basically described the concept of the visual angle and how the same visual angle of two different objects leads to the perception by the observer that the objects are of the same size, when really they may not be. Figure 10.30 (page 246) is a picture of someone's hands looking like they are "pinching" the Eiffel Tower in France.
Through college, I have seen so many Facebook albums of my friends abroad all over the world, all of them posing with famous monuments in this humerous fashion. I perused Facebook looking for these kinds of photos (being a college student, it was obviously an unwelcome, irregular task to sit on Facebook for a few hours). Here I have posted pictures of friends, travelling the world, demonstrating the concept of a visual angle and the tricks it can play in photography. I now know what is going on in these pictures, and how the angles work in convincing the brain of these unreal sizes of the monuments.