Sensation and perception | Psychology homework help

Think about and respond to the intriguing questions at the end of this section.

Background: A story has circulated for years about an eccentric philosophy professor gave a one question final exam after a semester dealing with a broad array of topics.

The class was already seated and ready to go when the professor picked up his chair, plopped it on his desk and wrote on the board,

“Using everything we have learned this semester, prove that this chair does not exist.”

Students wrote feverishly, erasers erased, hands cramped, and notebooks were filled in furious fashion.

Some students wrote over 20 pages in one hour, attempting to refute the existence of the chair.

One member of the class however, was up and finished in less than a minute.

Weeks later, when the grades were posted, the rest of the group wondered how he could have gotten an “A” when he had barely written anything at all.

Word soon spread when it was learned what his answer had been.

It had consisted of only two words: —

“What chair?”

The triumph of the student over the stodgy professor notwithstanding, consider and respond to these sensation and perception (not philosophy) questions: How can we know whether others actually see the same things that we do? We may have learned to use the same words to label things, but how can we tell if what we see is different? How does this impact the scientific study of perception? Note: The answer to the latter portion of this question can’t be “It doesn’t affect” or “I don’t know.” It might help or hinder research if we don’t all actually see the same things in our world. Think this through and suggest possibilities.



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