Distinguishing Between Sensing & Perceiving

Sensing and perceiving are two terms often used in psychology to describe two distinct processes of the human brain. Sensing, or sensation, refers to the role played by sensory organs in taking in information from the outside world, such as images, sounds, tastes, smells, and textures. In contrast, perceiving is the process of selecting, organizing, and interpreting this sensory information, allowing us to make sense of and interact with our surroundings.

Key Takeaways

  • Sensing is a passive process in which sensory organs absorb information from the outside world.
  • Perceiving is an active process that involves selecting, organizing, and interpreting sensory information.
  • Both sensing and perceiving are interconnected and complementary processes.

What is Sensing?

Sensing is used in psychology to describe the role of sensory organs in absorbing information from the world around us. There are mainly five sensory organs in the human body that allow us to capture this information. Sensing can be considered the first step where an individual is exposed to a lot of information.

For example, imagine waiting at a train station. Although not actively engaged in any specific work, your sensory organs are still active, allowing you to notice people walking around, the sound of trains, noise, and conversations. Sensing enables us to experience and enjoy the world around us, but perceiving goes a step further.

What is Perceiving?

Perceiving occurs when sensory information is selected, organized, and interpreted with the help of the brain. In other words, it involves making sense of the world around us. For example, when crossing a road, you not only absorb information but also interpret it as you decide whether to cross or not.

Perceiving differs from sensing in that it involves not just absorbing information but also trying to interact with the surrounding environment. Perception has been a key area of study for Gestalt psychologists, who have been interested in enhancing theoretical knowledge of perception as a process.

What is the difference between Sensing and Perceiving?

Definitions of Sensing and Perceiving:

  • Sensing: Sensing is when the sensory organs absorb the information from the world outside.
  • Perceiving: Perceiving is when sensory information is selected, organized, and interpreted.

Characteristics of Sensing and Perceiving:

  • Process: Sensing is a passive process, while perceiving is an active process.
  • Connection: Sensing and perceiving are two processes that are interrelated and complement one another.
  • Information: Through sensing, we absorb the information around us, while through perceiving, we interpret this information.
Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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