Developmental Psychology: An Advanced Textbook

By Marc H. Bornstein; Michael E. Lamb | Go to book overview
Save to active project

3

Perceptual Development

Marc H. Bornstein

New York University

... all that a mammal does is fundamentally dependent on his perception, past or present.

D. O. Hebb (1953, p. 44).


INTRODUCTION

We begin with two questions: Why study perception? Why study early perceptual development?

Why Study Perception? Perception underlies our basic awareness, experience, and interpretation of the world. Philosophers, psychologists, physiologists, and physicists study perception for two broad categories of reasons related to this privileged position of perception. Both reasons also have roots in philosophy.

Even on casual introspection, our everyday experiences raise a series of intriguing questions about perception. Some are quite general. How do properties or objects or events in the real world differ from our perceptions of them? How do those properties or objects or events come to be perceived as stable amidst continuous environmental flux, and how do they come to be invested with meaning? Other questions provoked by perceptual experiences are more specific. How does the quality of "bitter" differ from the quality of "red"? How do we see a three-dimensional world when visual processing begins with only a two‐ dimensional image in the eye? How are the individual features of things we perceive synthesized into organized wholes?

The second reason for studying perception is epistemological, impelled by the question of the origins of human knowledge. For centuries, philosophers have appealed to perception to address epistemological questions of knowledge and the origins of knowledge. Extreme views have been put forward by empiricists, who assert that all knowledge comes through the senses and grows by way of experience, and by nativists, who reason that some kinds of knowledge could not possibly rely on experience or be learned, and thus humans enter the world (at

-81-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Developmental Psychology: An Advanced Textbook
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 601

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?