University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Perception can be defined as the process of how an organism interprets a sensation. Many psychologists studied different types of perception, such as Constructive Perception (top-down) that was studied by Rock, Neisser, and Gregory. Another approach of perception was the Direct / Ecological (bottom up) which was studied by Gibson. Constructive (top down) perception is an active and deductive reasoning process. It is seen as an obstacle, object, or any matter that changes your perspective of its view. The way you view the object can be in any matter, but usually it connects back to a memory or an experience that you have had before. For example, a person called Eddie is an active user of a social network called Facebook, in which he has many friends, and talks to them very often. In this chat, he uses emoticons that are made up of keyboard functions such as colon and parenthesis “ ???? “.
If you take this emoticon and rotate it, you will see a smiley face. When Eddie sees this arrangement of keyboard functions, he sees a smiley face. However, Kevin, a person who has no social interaction through the computer and/or Internet, sees this simply as a colon placed next to a right parenthesis sign. Direct Ecological (bottom up) perception is an inductive reasoning process. Gibson stated his theory of bottom up perception was basically visual perception and the information needed was available from the proximal stimulus that was produced by the distal stimulus. In this case, the example is that Kevin looks at the emoticon and sees only a colon and right parenthesis, but to furthermore find more perception in this symbol, top down perception is needed. Bottom up perception is the visual environmental view of what we see and how we interpret and distinguish certain things apart from each other, while top down perception is how we furthermore establish a different meaning for it.