Gregory and Gibson essay

Essay's on the questions:

Discuss Gregory's theory of perception (24 marks)

Disucss Gibson's theory of perception (24 marks) 

Not sure what grade they are but maybe useful to steal some points from ;p

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: alliebob
  • Created on: 10-06-12 16:14
Preview of Gregory and Gibson essay

First 514 words of the document:

Discuss Gibson's theory of perception (24)
Based on the theory that there is sufficient information in the sensory (visual) stimulus to allow us
to make sense of our environment without the involvement of stored knowledge.
Gibson believes the pattern of light reaching the eye can be thought of as an optic array which
contains all the info necessary for perception.
The optic array comes in a number of forms. First, the optic flow which is the change in the
patterns of light and shade with movement (gives us info on distance/speed/direction of an
Second, the texture gradient which refers to the texture of an object which appears to change
with distance.
For example, lines appear closer together when further away from a person.
Third, is the horizon ratio which is how much of an object is above and below a horizon point. This
ratio never changes.
Fourth, is affordance which explains that the uses of objects can be determined by the
surrounding sensory information around it. The use can be determined by the circumstance it is
For example, if you want to shut a window but cannot reach it, you see a chair and know you can
use that to stand on and reach the window.
Frichtel (2006) found that infants as young as 4 months could perceive through texture gradient.
This suggests that this ability may be innate and that we don't need stored knowledge as these
infants are yet have this kind of stored knowledge yet can still perceive.
West found that participants could recognize black clad animals that moved with lights on their
This demonstrates that people just need sensory information, such as determining optic glow,
for perception to occur directly.
Green (1990 found the idea of affordance could be used to explain insects who behave just
through visual sensory information.
This supports the idea of affordances working in perception and controlling people's behaviour
through visual cues.
Strengths of Gibson's theory is that perception is fast and usually accurate, showing that it is
direct perception from incoming information that helps us perceive.
Gibson's work has had useful practical implications such as putting parallel lines closer together
at junctions, causing drivers to slow down.
Marking and lightings have also been put in place on runways to help pilot's judge distances
when landing. Demonstrates that Gibson has an acceptable theory that is accredited by others.
However, it can be argued this idea is nomothetic, as it claims that all individual perceive
everything in the same way. No one can perceive differently if stored knowledge and past
experiences are not taken into account.
Rushton (1988) had participants wearing prisms which provided misleading information about
the position of an object (shifted the objects location to a side) and directed them to walk

Other pages in this set

Page 2

Preview of page 2

Here's a taster:

If the participant just used optic flow they should be misled and miss the
object. However, the participant walked in a curved line to the object.
This research suggests people do not use optic flow information but instead have stored
knowledge that tells them they need to redirect their movements to reach the object.
Therefore, Gibson is wrong in saying that the optic flow is important in determining the direction
we walk in to reach an object.…read more

Page 3

Preview of page 3

Here's a taster:

Discuss Gibson's theory of perception (24)
Gregory argues that what we perceive is constructed from our own interpretations of the
incoming visual information.
Our interpretations are affected by past knowledge, the expectations we have, the
motivation/emotions we feel and the context this all happens in.
The incoming visual information is ambiguous and we have to generate our "best guess" or
hypothesis about what we see in front of us.…read more

Page 4

Preview of page 4

Here's a taster:

Gregory's theory is holistic as it includes everything in its explanations ­ i.e. different
experiences, culture, context and expectations and the effect they have on perception.
This means the theory is also idiographic as it takes into account every individuals different
perceptions because of the different events and knowledge that they hold.
Important implications - misperceptions is something that may happen in EWT when witnesses
see things that didn't really happen because of the stress of the circumstance it was in.…read more


No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all resources »