Sensation and Perception Worksheet


Perception is very important in our everyday lives. Perception is determined by how our brain process information received through senses. Perception has been a subject of interest for most psychologists as they try to explain the differences in perception among individuals. The idea of perception set has marvelled most psychologists for a long time. Perception set entail the effect of perception when a subject has expectation on what to see.

Experiment result

Three subjects were asked to observe red items in an eating joint. Later, the subjects were asked to identify green items identified in the joint. The entire three subjects had difficulties in identifying green items. One subject could not remember any green items identified in the joint. The other subjects identified the items wrongly. The subjects seemed to remember only the red items in the joint. When asked to name the green items observed in the joint, the subjects named some items, which were actually red.


The experiment entailed how people perceive colour and how expected result affects their perception. The experiment involved use of visual system as the mean for visual sensation. The subjects were prepared on what they were expected to observe in the eating joint. The eating joint had many items of different colours. In the joint, the visual systems of the subjects received sensory information from all item in the eating room. However, due to the expectation, the subjects placed their attention selectively (Goldstein, E, 2002, p137). The subject paid attention to red items that they had been asked to identify. Lack of attention to items of other colours explains their difficulty in remembering the items. All the subjects received sensation from the all the items in the room, however, the attention influenced how sensations were transformed to perception.

The observations in the experiment can be explained in terms of perception set. Perception set concept explains the idea of perception as dynamic process that involve how a person select, infer and interpret sensory information with bias. The subjects were prepared on what they were supposed to observe in the experiment. This led to their bias in observing items in the eating joint. The expectation influenced how the subjects paid attention to the items in the eating joint, paying attention to red items as asked while ignoring the others (Goldstein, E., 2002, p131). The subject expected that they would be asked to name the red items observed in the eating joint. When asked to named items of different colours, the subjects either failed to remember green items or named a red item. In this experiment, influence of perception set is observed in both how the subjects observed the items selectively and how they responded to interrogation after their experience in the eating joint.

The observations in the experiment were not surprising. The fact that the subjects had been prepared on what to observe, they did not pay attention to other items in the room. The observations agreed with normal life experience where we only remember the sense information or ideas that we are motivated to pay attention.


The way in which we acquire and process sensory information is influenced by various factors. The experiment showed good evidence on influence of expectation and attention to perceptions. The subjects expected to be asked to name red items in the eating joint and, thus, they paid attention to red items ignoring items of other colours. Concept of perception set explains the observed bias.

Reference List

Goldstein, E. (2002). Sensation and perception. New York: Wadsworth-Thomson Learning.

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