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# Perceiving, for all its nicety of functioning in the dark

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Joined: 10 Mar 2012
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Perceiving, for all its nicety of functioning in the dark  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 24 Oct 2019, 00:34
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Perceiving, for all its nicety of functioning in the dark room under strict instructions for accuracy, comprises a highly complex series of little understood psychological processes. For under all conditions, perceiving represents a resultant of two complex sets of specifications. One set describes the conditions of stimulation. This is done either in terms of physical measures such as wave length, or in terms of psychological norms such as in the description of a picture as that picture is seen by “normal” observers under optimal conditions and with a set for accuracy. This first set of specifications we are used to calling “stimulus” factors.

Stimuli, however, do not act upon an indifferent organism. There is never, in the old-fashioned language of G. F. Stout, anoetic sentience. The organism in perception is in one way or another in a state of expectancy about the environment. It is a truism worth repeating that the perceptual effect of a stimulus is necessarily dependent upon the set or expectancy of the organism.

There have been very few systematic efforts to analyze the dimensions of set and to formulate laws regarding the effectiveness of set in perception such as those which describe stimulus-perception relationships. That students of nonsensory or “directive” factors in perception have thus far refrained from any large-scale statement of principles, while it is a mark of admirable modesty in the face of a very confusing array of experimental data, is highly regrettable. For it has prevented the emergence of new hypotheses which, flowing even from premature principles, might serve to test the utility of theories of perception.

The present study, though empirical in nature, is essentially an essay in the theory of perception — or at least that part of the theory of perception which deals with directive factors in the perceiving process. Our basic axiom has already been stated — that perceiving is a process which results from the stimulation of a prepared or eingestellt organism. A second axiom concerns the operation of such directive factors: given a stimulus input of certain characteristics, directive processes in the organism operate to organize the perceptual field in such a way as to maximize percepts relevant to current needs and expectations and to minimize percepts inimical to such needs and expectations. This “minimax” axiom we have referred to elsewhere as the construction-defense balance in perceiving.

All of which is not to say that perception is always wishful or “autistic.” Indeed, that is not the point. “Wishfulness” has to do with the nature of the expectations which are at work and is not a term relevant to the perceiving process as such. By “wishful” we mean an expectation with a low probability of being confirmed by events.

The construction-defense process operates where expectations are “realistic” or where they are “wishful.” In the former case, it is simply a matter of “constructing” a percept which is relevant, say, to the exigencies of locomotion, “defending” against percepts which, though potentially wish-fulfilling, are disruptive to the task of locomotion.

A concern of this paper is also with the perceptual events which occur when perceptual expectancies fail of confirmation — the problem of incongruity.

1 The closest meaning of the word “autistic” in the context of the passage is

a) Rational
b) Selfish
c) Limited
d) Irrelevant
e) Focussed

2 The primary purpose of the author is to show that

a) Ultimately the mechanism of perception involves a complex set of processes which are not fully understood.
b) The most important factor in the mechanism of perception is essentially the stimulus as it influences the constructive -defense mechanism.
c) It is important to understand the directive factors in the perceiving process as they influence the process of perception.
d) Incongruity has been given very less attention in experiments and needs to be thoroughly researched.
e) There are many factors in perception which we take for granted and hence our axioms are suspect.

3 Which of the following statements cannot be inferred from the passage?
A. The theories of perception are confusing and this can be largely attributed to the complacency among the students of perception.
B. Theories of perception need a serious review as the old theories were based on the assumption of an indifferent organism.
C. Incongruities would not be perceived if an organism decided to give up in face of non-confirmation of expectations.

a) Only A
b) A and B
c) B and C
d) A and C
e) A, B and C

Originally posted by abhi1488 on 01 May 2013, 10:01.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 24 Oct 2019, 00:34, edited 1 time in total.
Updated - Complete topic (1099).
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Re: Perceiving, for all its nicety of functioning in the dark  [#permalink]

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01 May 2013, 11:37
Well

This is a passa really tough that goes beyond the scope of gmat in my opinion

However, The answer should be A A and C

let me know
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Joined: 12 Dec 2012
Posts: 148
Location: Poland
Re: Perceiving, for all its nicety of functioning in the dark  [#permalink]

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02 May 2013, 11:17
carcass wrote:
Well

This is a passa really tough that goes beyond the scope of gmat in my opinion

However, The answer should be A A and C

let me know

True, damn tough passage!
I think though you can get the like on the GMAT, but only if you're doing pretty exceptional. And if you're good enough to get such a difficult RC, you probably solve a SC in 20 secs and CR in 60 secs, what gives you more time on RC like that one.

By the way, I marked totally different answers: B, C, D.
Curious to know the OAs!
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Re: Perceiving, for all its nicety of functioning in the dark  [#permalink]

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02 May 2013, 12:57
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Joined: 10 Mar 2012
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Re: Perceiving, for all its nicety of functioning in the dark  [#permalink]

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02 May 2013, 21:34
Sorry for the late reply. The OA for the above passage is:

1. C
2. C
3. E
Re: Perceiving, for all its nicety of functioning in the dark   [#permalink] 02 May 2013, 21:34
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# Perceiving, for all its nicety of functioning in the dark

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