psychological theories

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Rieber defines perception in context as, “an experience that results from stimulation of the senses. It can be examined by verbal description and by psychophysical experiment, or it can be related to the processes in the nervous system that accompany the experience.”  He also cites Aristotle’s classification of the five senses.  Yet, Rieber spends the extent of his entry on perception as vision only.  After searching and searching, the academics and theorists that he cites and explores were only interested in vision as a perceptual experience and completely ignores the other four or five senses (if you include intuition as another sense), and doesn’t even address the phenomenon of individuals who lack one sense, e.g. the visually impaired, whose other senses are heightened as a result.  While the theorists he includes are important in their pursuit of visual phenomenon, that is not even the full extent of perceptual phenomenon and as an entry in an encyclopedia should have not been as narrow and should have been clearly clarified.

Schroeder on the other hand, explores a subject near to my interests and curiosity, sex and gender in sensation and perception.  Gratefully, the article does not seem to evolve into an excuse for eugenics or gender superiority in regards to whether one is fit for certain careers or positions and that others are not.  No.  While the author indicates some of these differences are well documented, others are more subtle and difficult to detect, modern brain imaging techniques utilized to track brain activity has allowed for a closer look.  While the article indicates that fluctuating sex hormones provide differences in sensory perception, he doesn’t indicate that this may be due to heightened senses during ovulation or during pregnancy that increase during periods of sexual arousal or periods where women become more protective of their unborn child through a heightened sense of hearing, touch, sight, taste, and smell.



Wade, N. J. (2012). Perception. In R. W. Rieber (Ed.), Encyclopedia of the history of psychological theories (pp. 773-788). New  York, NY: Spriner. DOI 10.1007/978-1-4419-0463-8_198.

Schroeder, J. A. (2010). Sex and gender in sensation and perception. In J. C. Chrisler & D. R. McCreary (Eds.), Handbook of gender research in psychology (Vol. 1; pp. 235-257). New York, NY: Springer. DOI 10.1007/978-1-1465-1_12.


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