Professor John Prince – PHI 210
July 15, 2012
The object of this paper is to identify:
1. Provide at least three reasons for believing in the accuracy or inaccuracy of sensory information.
2. Identify and describe at least three factors contributing to the accuracy of sensory data
3. Discuss the roles of “nature” and “nurture” with regard to the interpretation and evaluation of sensory data.
We have no choice but to trust in the accuracy of sensory information because it is all we have. One example of an inaccuracy of sensory information is “the McGurk effect is an error in sound perception that occurs when there is a mismatch between the senses of hearing and seeing” (Stangor, 2011). In that example your ears hear one thing (Ba Ba Ba), your eyes see another (Ga Ga Ga), while your brain processes a third (Da Da Da). Another example of inaccuracy is “illusions occur when the perceptual processes that normally help us correctly perceive the world around us are fooled by a particular situation so that we see something that does not exist or that is incorrect” (Stangor, 2011). See figure 1:
When you look into a mirror, what you see is the opposite of what is real. Your right hand appears to be your left via the reflection in the mirror.
One factor contributing to the accuracy of sensory data is memory. For example, when we look at fire it does not look hot or that it can burn you, but our memory of putting your hand near the fire reminds you that fire is hot and will burn you. This also leads into a second reason of accuracy of sensory data is repeatability. Not only does memory play a role in knowing that fire is hot, we can repeat the act of putting our hand near the fire and feel that it is hot repeatedly. Fire is always hot. A third factor that contributes to the accuracy of sensory data is making eye contact while listening will help to improve the accuracy of the sensory data....