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Explain Gibson's bottom up/ direct theory of perception

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´╗┐Gibson bottom up/ direct theory of perception Gibson?s bottom up approach is also known as data-driven processing, because perception begins with the stimulus itself. Processing is carried out in one direction from the retina to the visual cortex, with each successive stage in the visual pathway carrying out ever more complex analysis of the input. Gibson argues that there is enough information in our environment to make sense of the world in a direct way. There is no need for processing as the information we receive about size, shape and distance is sufficiently detailed for us to interact directly with the environment. In this theory he also talks about movement, as we we move through our environment, objects which are close to us pass us by faster than those further away. ...read more.


Gibson's emphasis on direct perception provides an explanation for the fast and accurate perception of the environment. However, his theory cannot explain why perceptions are sometimes inaccurate, like in illusions. He claimed the illusions used in experimental work constituted extremely artificial perceptual situations unlikely to be encountered in the real world, however this dismissal cannot realistically be applied to all illusions. For example, Gibson's theory cannot account for perceptual errors like the general tendency for people to overestimate vertical extents relative to horizontal ones. Neither can Gibson's theory explain naturally occurring illusions. For example if you stare for some time at a waterfall and then transfer your gaze to a stationary object, the object appears to move in the opposite direction. ...read more.


But, a strength is it has real world application such as in the use of road marking. The markings are painted closer and closer together when approaching junctions to give the impression of speed forcing drivers to slow down and thus save lives. Lastly, the approach is deterministic as it assumes our biology is completely in control of our perception and that is completely a direct process. There is defiantly some top down processes influencing perception and this is proven by the fact that affordances are not always so apparent between cultures. For example someone from an African tribe wouldn?t understand a red pillar box ?affords? the ability to send a letter without some cognitive process of experience dictating this. ...read more.

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