psycho palmer


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  • 64 students were tested in a laboratory experiment, to test whether if context would affect perception. They were given written instructions telling them what to do.
  • They were shown a scenes (like a kitchen) for two seconds which provided a context. the participants were then shown an object to identify (a mailbox, a loaf of bread, and a drum.
  • 1) APPROPRIATE: e.g. recognising a loaf after seeing a kitchen scene.
  • There were 4 conditions of the context shown (the independent variables):
  • The number of correctly identified object were counted (dependent variable)
  • 3) INAPPROPRIATE, DIFFERENT OBJECT: e.g. recognising a drum after seeing a kitchen scene.
  • 4) NO CONTEXT.
  • 2) INAPPROPRIATE, SIMILAR OBJECT: e.g. recognising a mailbox which looks like a loaf after seeing a kitchen scene.
  • Results: the participants correctly identified the most objects after seeing an appropriate context and the least after seeing an inappropriate context.
  • Conclusion: Expectation affects perception. People have a perceptual set based on context which affects how accurately they recognise objects.
  • Weaknesses: 1) Participants were told beforehand = bias for wanting to please the experimenter. 2) Some data couldn't be used = fewer results.
  • Strengths: 1) Palmer controlled variables = no differences in identification. 2) disregarded two participants due to abnormalities = fair experiment.
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