Monday, June 11, 2012


       Perception was definitely not what I expected out of a psychology class. I have never taken one that went into physiology in depth. I dabbled in it for Abnormal Psychology, learning about neurotransmitters and their effects on our emotions, but I had never truly understood it as fully as I do now. Honestly, I never thought much about perception. I don't think I realized how much it affects us in everything that we do. This course has taught me much more than the applicable possibilities. The course has made me aware of just how much perception affects our lives. It has helped me appreciate almost everything around me and how things work. Just by knowing the different ways we perceive things, I am now fascinated by even the smallest things I do. When I have a conversation with another person I actually think about how am perceiving their language and inflections of speech. When I touch things I am more knowledgeable of how my body is perceiving and reacting to what I am feeling, such as textures and vibrations. I've learned innumerable things from taking this course. Through taking this course, I am astounded by the way I see the world now. I've learned about the way the mechanisms of my body take in what I see, hear, touch, smell, and taste on a day to day basis. Perception may be one of the most intriguing and possibly most important things I've learned so far in my college career. The ability to know how your body perceives things can help you in a medical, technical, or educational career setting. It can be applied in every field of psychology, and the knowledge I have gleaned is priceless.

     Throughout this course I've come across a lot fascinating subjects but one of my personal favorites would have to be motion parallax. Motion parallax occurs as, when we move, nearby objects appear to glide rapidly past us, but more distant objects appear to move more slowly. We can understand how motion parallax occurs by noting how an image of a near object and a far object move across the retina as the eye moves. Because the image of a near object moves a larger distance across the retina, we perceive it to be moving further across our field of vision, or faster. The image of a far object moves much less space across the retina, and therefore is perceived to move only slightly. An example of motion parallax could be when you are going for a jog and as you look at the things you are passing they appear to pass by in a blur, but the sidewalk in the distance looks as though it isn't moving at all. Motion parallax is one of the most important sources of depth perception for animals. Artists use motion parallax to portray depth in an animated film. It has also been used to enable human-designed mechanical robots to determine how far they are from obstacles as they navigate.

    As I have mentioned before I never knew exactly how much perception affects our lives until taking this class. Perception of vision and sound have never been clearer and easier to understand as they are now that I have completed this course. Now, when I am driving in my car and watching objects pass by, I know exactly why I perceive the trees to fly by as the houses slowly glide along. When I hear two tones that sound the same and are the same pitch, loudness, and duration, I know that my perception of timbre is distinguishing these two sounds. Experiences like these that I have learned about throughout this course have opened my mind to understand things differently than before. I will apply what I have learned in this class in all of my future psychology courses. The information I gained is invaluable. I know one thing is for sure--I'll think twice before making a decision about what sense I would choose to do without!

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