Perception and on the Circumstance That Selective Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

perception and on the circumstance that selective perception may be more dominated by images than by any other factor. We are prone to making impressions, yet as the study in this essay shows it may be images that subconsciously form our impressions and direct judgment to be made about them accordingly.

All too often, selective perception gets us into difficulties as witnessed by the Northwest Airlines Flight 259 that crashed after forgetting to extend the flaps for takeoff. This was as minor aspect, yet the pilots completely overlooked it. Selective perception works in social areas of life too where people are regularly hired for certain characteristics that employers observe yet gloss over others. Research shows that much of causal perceptions or interview selection is made of fleeting instinctive impressions where discrete components are aggregated into a holistic whole. This is called a stereotype and stereotypes are instinctive, unconscious, and often difficult to reverse. They direct many of our judgments, for good and for bad, and drive our attention in a specific direction.

Gazzaniga et al. (2001) informs us that neural systems that are involved in attention include both the parietal lobe as well as the subcortical structures which is the source of attentional selection. Attentional phenomena are diverse and involve many brain computations and mechanisms. This is why many times so-called willful blindness occurs due tot the fact that some aspect of our brain has not noticed a certain aspect as occurred with the Northwest Airlines incident. In other words, signals that impinge on the retina or cochlea may not be expressed in our conscious awareness, either when they occur or later via our recollections. However, as Gazznaiga concludes, much of what we perceive, remember, and act on depends on our intentions and momentary necessities as well as on pressure from the sensory world that manipulates our perceptions. The two go together.

Half a century ago, Asch (1946) inquired how it was that when looking at a person who is an aggregate of impressions / characteristics, a categorical holistic single impression of the individual enters our mind. In other words, transferring the question to Gazzaniga's topic of perceptive selection there are so many aspects of the person that escapes us and we tend to bleed outside the picture and infer to nonexistent entities. As experiment, Asch had an experimenter read the following terms twice to a group of more than 1000 students: energetic - assured -- talkative -- cold -- ironical -- inquisitive -- persuasive. Students gave their comments about his imaginary character providing an imaginary illustration of his personality. Asch noted that even though the terms were discrete, students provided a holistic impression, that most times their holistic impression differed sharply from that of other participants; and that they seemed to link their impressions to individuals whom they encountered in real life. After 10 other similar experiments that differed in context and style, he concluded that people seem to have the perplexing habit of forming a holistic impression of an individual even though the individual is composed of a sum of parts; that certain strong characteristics dominate; that observers correlate certain traits with relational attributes that may not necessarily appear in the person; that observers exceed the given picture and provide inferences that go beyond; and that perception hinges on context and that therefore impression of the same person may differ according to context.

This is selective perception at work where certain parts of the brain note certain aspects, and signals that impinge on the retina or cochlea may not be expressed in our conscious awareness, either when they occur or later via our recollections.

Asch concluded that perception of the person differs according to context.

In 2012, Ivcevic and Amabdy (2012) demonstrated that perception of the person -- or signals of attention - depend on intention too.

People browse facebook for any number of reason including to hire someone. The researcher had a dual purpose. Their first was to investigate the information that is weighty in judgment formation in Facebook profiles, the second was to test the predictive validity of judgment made in regards to evaluation of Facebook profiles. 99 participants were involved from a university in the Northeast. Each participant brought a friend who completed a set of measures about the target person. 7 judges rated the personality of the individual based on his profile in
Parts of this Document are Hidden
Click Here to View Entire Document
the facebook account. They judged person either based on full Facebook Info pages or on single categories of information (e.g., on his profile picture, interests, music preferences, etc.). The whole was rated ac cording to Big Five personality traits as well as according to items that reflected everyday behavior.

Researchers found that personality ratings for the Info pages were most highly correlated with ratings of profile pictures, followed by shared quotes and interests. Regression analyses showed that pictures and the shared self-descriptive preferences independently contributed to the judge's impressions of Info pages. Some traits, such as notably conscientiousness and extroversion shared same accurate rating between friend and judge. These were based on photograph and snippets of person's Facebook comments about self. Other personalty impression, on the other hand, differed sharply between that of friend rating and judge perception.

Researchers found too that judges mostly used pictures to form their impressions as well as information gained from favorite quotes and interests. Impressions based on person's favorite TV / movie selections were not reliable as were impressions formed from person's favorite music.

The only online impressions that were correctly predictive of off-line behavior were impressions of extroversion. Impressions, on the other hand, hinged on context and sometimes these impression were incorrect. Some impressions, in short, leave more of an effect than others, whilst others leave an implicit unconscious impact. Some too are more accurate than others of everyday behavior but many facebook users do make impressions and judgments -- sometimes weighty -- based on their perspectives that they pick up regarding the particular Facebook user.

This research was interesting since it demonstrated the core impressions that people use to make their online judgments and knowledge of this fact is useful since Facerbook users make many important decisions based on online encounters ranging from dating to hiring someone for offline or online business transaction and it demonstrated that all areas outside of assumptions regarding extroversion attributes were open to error.

The researcher too indicated that by participants largely using the photographs as basis, their impressions are largely formed by their visual cortex and that this dominates their other regions of impression making in an instinctive and unconscious way.

The study that I would like to do is to therefore replicate Ivcevic and Ambody's study in a laboratory environment using fMRI equipment in order to test the assumption that Facebook impressions are indeed largely dominated by visual processes.

The hypothesis, accordingly is that Facebook decision-making is largely dominated by the visual regions of the brain.

The alternative hypothesis is that all neural regions involved in attention are equally involved when making decision over facebook.


I would replicate Ivcevoic and Ambady's study in almost all of its basic details so that it closely matches it. The sole difference will be that fMRI testing will be brought into the study so as to identify which specific neural region is most highly activated when judges make their decision.

99 participants will be recruited from a particular university . Each participant will bring a friend who will complete a set of measures about the target person. 7 judges will rate the personality of the individual based on his profile in the Facebook account.

To gain access to Facebook account, an invitation will be extended to researchers and judges. Info and Wall pages of Facebook account will be saved multiple times during the following weeks.

Self and friend assessment of the prime person will be collected in one session.

The judges will be undergraduate research assistants. FMRI will track their mental reaction to their assessment of either full Facebook info or other categories of preferences and interests. All judges will also be exposed to person's photograph.

The Facebook information will be reduced to the set of Big Five personality traits and rated accordingly. This will be as follows: extraversion: reserved, quiet vs. extraverted, enthusiastic; agreeableness: critical, quarrelsome vs. sympathetic, warm; conscientiousness: disorganized, careless vs. dependable, disciplined; neuroticism: emotionally stable, calm vs. anxious, easily upset; and openness to experience: conventional, uncreative vs. open to new experiences, complex (Gosling et al., 2003)).

The friends and Facebook persons too will rate their traits according to the Big Five extraversion (e.g., outgoing, sociable), agreeableness (e.g., considerate and kind), conscientiousness (e.g., reliable worker), neuroticism (e.g., depressed, blue), and openness (e.g., original, comes up with new ideas). All of these will be assessed with the 44-item Big Five Inventory (BFI; John, Donahue, & Kentle, 1991). The BFI is a consistently reliable inventory of personalty traits that is often used (e..g (John, Naumann, & Soto, 2008). Friends and persons separately will make ratings on…

Sources Used in Documents:


Asch, SE. (1946). forming impressions of personality Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 41 258-290

Ivcevic, Z & Ambady, N (2012) Personality Impressions From Identity Claims on Facebook, Psychology of Popular Media Culture, 1, 38-45

Gazzaniga, MS, Ivry, RB, & Mangun, GR (2001)Cogntiive Neuroscience Norton & Co.

Glaser, W.R., & Glaser, M.O. (1989). Context effects in Stroop-like word and picture processing. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 118, 13-42.

Cite This Essay:

"Perception And On The Circumstance That Selective" (2012, April 26) Retrieved January 26, 2021, from

"Perception And On The Circumstance That Selective" 26 April 2012. Web.26 January. 2021. <>

"Perception And On The Circumstance That Selective", 26 April 2012, Accessed.26 January. 2021,