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Outline one cross-cultural study into the development of perceptual abilities. (8 marks) and Outline the nature- nurture debate in relation to explanations of perceptual development (16 marks)

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Introduction

1 a) Outline one cross-cultural study into the development of perceptual abilities. (8 marks) b) Outline the nature- nurture debate in relation to explanations of perceptual development (16 marks) Ans) a) Segall et al (1996) investigated whether the Miller-Lyer illusion has a cross-cultural effect. They showed the Miller-Lyer illusion to a group of South Africans and a group of rural Zulus, and asked them which line was the longest. Most of the urban South Africans identified the line with the inwardly pointing arrows as being longer than the line with the outwardly pointing arrows, even though the lines were actually the same length. Segall et al believed this was because they were used to an environment dominated by straight lines (e.g. ...read more.

Middle

their huts was circular) so didn?t apply size constancy in the same way as the urban South Africans. This meant that they didn?t perceive any difference in the length of the lines. Segall et al saw this cross-cultural difference in perception as evidence that perceptual abilities are developed in response to the environment. In other words, perception is the result of nurture. b) Some psychologists believe that the development of perceptual abilities such as depth perception and visual constancies are the result of the nature- they?re innate abilities. Others believe that they are the result of nurture ? we learn them through interaction with our environment. There are studies to support both sides of this debate. For example, Gibson and Walk (1960) ...read more.

Conclusion

However, the heart rate of babies who could crawl dropped on the deep side, suggesting that older babies are aware of the change in depth. Campos concluded that as only the older babies appeared to be aware of depth this shows that depth perception is learned and therefore down to nurture. The conflicting findings of these studies and many more (e.g. Segall et al (1966) suggests perceptual development is the result of the nurture, Bower (1985) suggests it?s the result of nature) mean that no conclusion can yet be drawn on whether perceptual development is the result of nature or nurture. In fact, many psychologists now believe that perceptual abilities could come about by a combination of the two. ...read more.

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