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Memory and Expectations

This entry is part 6 of 8 in the series Perception.

Past experience and what you learn from it play a significant role in shaping your perceptions and your current experience. The examples we’ve looked at so far make that clear. That’s why you could recognize things like faces and vases, characters like B and 13, and four suites of playing cards — two red and two black — and more, and why you saw those things in the visual patterns presented earlier. You also learned from past experience that when force is applied to your body you must use effort if you don’t want to be controlled by that force. That’s why your first response when someone grasps your wrist to pull you hand off your head is to resist.

The knowledge you gain from past experience feeds your perceptual lens — shaping which bits of information you select from your perceptual stream and how you assemble them into the perceptual images that make up your current experience. We can incorporate that influence into the Perceptual Process model as shown below.

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