Psych M.D. - Perceptual Set


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Term: Perceptual Set
Definition (Myers): A mental predisposition to perceive one thing and not the other.
Definition (alternative): A temporary readiness or predisposition to perceive in a particular way. *
Contextual explanation: Our experiences, assumptions, and expectations may form this perceptual set. For example, people perceive an adult-child pair as looking more alike when told they are parent and child since they have been taught to think that parents and children look alike.
Related terms and concepts: Fixation (in problem solving, not in psychoanalysis), Confirmation bias, and Mental set
Cup or Faces?
A Cup or Faces? Your interpretation is determined by your perceptual set.
Face or Rat?
Is the far right picture a face of a man or a rat?
Related websites:
The Active Viewer: talks about perception, including perceptual set. Is rather detailed.
Can You Believe Your Eyes?
Edited by: Soo



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