Topics in Philosophy of Mind
SEEING & BELIEVING
Expectations


A number of classical studies show that expectation influences what we see. Jerome Bruner showed that altered cards (a red ace of spades, for example) are more difficult to process.


Perceptual Persistence

The tendency of a first interpretation to last, resistant to change, is called ‘perceptual persistence’. Consider the following image:

Those who are shown the images in left to right order starting from the top tend to see a man’s face well into the images in the second row. Those who are shown the images in the reverse order tend to see a woman’s figure well into the images of the first row.


Belief

Consider the ‘top hat’ illusion, in which the vertical line of the hat appears longer than the horizontal. But is it?

Place the cursor over the image to measure it.

If you measure the two lines, you will see that they are exactly the same length. You can construct your own version by using a ruler to draw perpendicular lines. Although you know the lines are the same length, the vertical line will still look longer. If all belief influenced all perception, that would not be true.


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