PlatinumEssays.com - Free Essays, Term Papers, Research Papers and Book Reports
Search

The Influence of Context on Perceptual Set

By:   •  November 11, 2014  •  Essay  •  1,633 Words (7 Pages)  •  7,265 Views

Page 1 of 7

Abstract

Visual perception is defined as the ability to interpret the surrounding environment by processing information that is contained in visible light. Specifically what this experiment is concerned with is perceptual set. This is a mental predisposition to perceive one thing and not another. The aim of this experiment to was to record and analyse the way participants perceived the ambiguous stimulus. It was hypothesised that participants would perceive the ambiguous stimulus contextually when shown the farm animals, bull, or sports equipment, ball, first. Sixty year 7 students participated in this experiment in which they read aloud a list of words based in the same context, followed by the ambiguous stimulus. They were randomly split into three groups. Group A which included farm animals, group B which included sports equipment and group C which was only the ambiguous stimulus. To what they responded to the ambiguous stimulus was recorded into a table. 13.33% participants of Group A, 25% participants of Group B, and 0% participants of Group C responded as hypothesised. 95.8% of the participants responded to the stimulus. The results did not support the hypothesis due to the many limitations the experiment had nor did the results relate to past experiments.

A significant number of psychologists have been fascinated with visual perception and how it impacts humans, human behaviour and the way individuals interpret the world. Visual perception is defined as the ability to interpret the surrounding environment by processing information that is contained in visible light. This is explicitly linked to illusion. What is meant by illusion in psychology is an instance of a wrong or misinterpreted perception. Specifically what this experiment is concerned with is perceptual set. This is a mental predisposition to perceive one thing and not another. What is of most significance in this research is the influence of context on perceptual set. This is the theory that stresses the idea of perception as an active process involving selection, inference and interpretation. (Grivas & Carter, 2014).

Past research conducted on context in perceptual set includes the work by Jerome Bruner and Leigh Minturn (1955). They created an ambiguous stimulus known as B/13 (see figure 1.1) and separated participants in two experimental groups, group A were shown a series of letters (L, M, Y, A) followed by the ambiguous stimulus whilst group B were shown a series of numbers (16, 17, 10, 12) followed by the ambiguous stimulus. Bruner and Minturn concluded that Group A that saw the letters first indicated that 92% of the participants perceived the ambiguous stimulus as ‘B'. Group B that saw the numbers, 83% of the participants perceived the ambiguous stimulus as a ‘13'. Bruner and Minturn established that observers will interpret the ambiguous stimulus based on the symbols preceded before it.

Another experiment conducted based on perceptual set includes the work by psychologist John Ridley Stroop who created the Stroop effect. The Stroop effect is to record if participants incorrectly or correctly pronounced the word of a colour which is in another different colour. For example, the word green would have printed in the colour red. Stroop asked participants to read aloud a list of the words. Stroop concluded that participants would read aloud the colour of the ink than the word.

The aim of this experiment to was to record and analyse the way participants perceived the ambiguous stimulus.

The IV of this experiment was the ambiguous symbols shown to the students and the DV of this experiment operationalized as whether the ambiguous stimuli was perceived as ‘bull' or ‘ball' and if that perception was consistent with the context.

It was hypothesised that participants would perceive the ambiguous stimulus contextually when shown the farm animals, bull, or sports equipment, ball, first.

Method

Participants:

The sample comprised 60 year 7 students from St Helena Secondary College. These year 7 classes were chosen through when the year 11 class was conducting the experiment. Of these, 45% of students were female and 55% of students were male. Participants were selected at random and were randomly allocated to one of the three different groups.

Figure 1.1

Materials:

The materials used and needed in this experiment were a pen to record results, 21 pieces of 20cm by 15cm plain white cards to write down the 3 ambiguous stimulus, list of 9 different sports equipment and list of 9 different farm animals and a A4 white piece of paper to record the results on.

Procedure:

Before conducting the experiment, the teacher in charge asked the year 7 teacher's if they were willing to be a part of an experiment. When the year 7 teacher agreed, the participants were conveniently sampled and allocated to groups using the random method. The year 11 class conducting the experiment (researchers) were split into groups of two and were scrambled across the courtyard. Once participants were placed into a group, the researchers then showed a list of context cards followed by the ambiguous stimulus. The researches recorded the results into a table. When completed, the researchers thanked participants for their time.

Results

Results were collected and organised by researchers before being analysed.

Table 1: Results of how participants interpreted the words as hypothesised.

Group % Group A (Animals – 24 Participants) 13.33% Group B (Sports equipment – 21 participants) 25%

Group C (Control – 15 participants) 0%

This table shows that 13.33% participants of Group A, 25% participants of Group B and 0% participants of Group C responded as hypothesised. 95.8% of the participants responded to the stimulus.

Table 2: Results of different response to what was hypothesised.

Group A (Animals) Group B (Sports Equipment)

Group C (Control)

? "Basil" ? "Bill" (x5) ? No response (x4) ? Spelt it out ? "Bell" (x3) ? "Money"

? "Bull" ? "Bin" ? No

...

Download:  txt (9.9 Kb)   pdf (121.7 Kb)   docx (12 Kb)  
Continue for 6 more pages »