Sense Perception Zara akhtar's digital portfolio


  • Zara Akhtar
  • Diana Omemehin, Ahmed Qureshi, Camilla Hagevik
  • January 31st - February 7th, 2017
  • WOK Badge: Sense Perception
  • Cultural Influences on Perception

Journal 2/2/17


  • Video regarding sense perception
  • Focus on selectivity of perception
  • A skit
  • An experiment involving selectivity

End of Day:

We decided to do a video revolving around the different types of Selectivity of Perception. We want to highlight the different aspects of it, such as how interest, emotion, and culture affect our perception. We also want to include examples of the other-race effect and change blindness. We are planning to interview students in our school and involve them in this project as well. Diana said that she can tell where exactly from Africa someone is, while Camilla cannot.

Journal 2/6/17

Beginning of Class:

We are planning to show the different types of Selectivity of Perception through the use of interviews and acting. Since we cannot go out and interview random people, we have to interview people in our class and act out skits for our video. The other race effect will focus on Diana and how she can tell the difference between types of people in Africa, and how someone else from a different culture cannot; it will showcase how it is more difficult for others to distinguish races that aren’t their own. The change blindness will be a skit, and we will tweak random aspects of the environment and see if the participant notices. This is based on the experiment involving two participants talking to each other, and how one didn’t notice when the other one was replaced with someone else.

End of Class:

In my previous journal, I thought that we were going to outline the other-race effect, change blinds, and address Selectivity of Perception as a whole. It turns out that we need to generate a specific knowledge question and answer it, so we chose “How does the culture in which you grow up in influence your perception?” This means that we need to cover the other-race effect, but we can’t cover change blindness because it doesn’t have to do with cultural differences. We focused on visions and sound aspects of sense perception.

Journal 2/8/17

Beginning of Class/Before Presentation:

My main goal in this presentation is to make sure that I pronounce everything I am saying very clearly. Normally, I get very nervous when I am giving an oral presentation and start to stutter and mumble my words. A lot of spit gathers in my mouth and I am not clear with my pronunciation. I think that it is important I learn how to calm myself during a presentation, because I will have to give them all my life. If I can start calming myself at an early age, I will be able to control my nerves later in life. I also hope that my group is clear in the message of our presentation. I want the audience to be able to grasp and understand the meaning of our video.

After Presentation/Reflection Journal:

I think that our presentation went fairly well, and we relayed our information pretty efficiently. The knowledge question itself we used really made me think about the culture that I grew up in and how it has affected the way I perceive things. It’s really interesting to think about how other people see things completely differently from the way I do. I also really did not know the extent to which culture played a role in our sense perception until we discussed our topics, it was very interesting how Diana could focus on specific aspects of a person’s face and recognize where in Africa they are from. I have never really thought about how I notice certain aspects of someone’s face and the fact that other people from different cultures don’t focus on the same things. Also, it was really cool to see Ahmed and Diana trying to speak in a different language; it really shows how we tend to focus on different sounds and emphasize certain syllables because we grew up in a different culture.

Three knowledge questions I encountered:

  • How does the culture in which you grow up in influence your perception?
  • To what extent is our understanding of the world shaped by our sense perception?
  • How can we know if our senses are reliable?

Elective Reading

Isaac Lidsky: How can going blind give you vision?

Essential Question: To what extent is our understanding of the world shaped by our sense perception?

Isaac Lidsky described his journey through life living with a disease that eventually blinded him. He discussed how going blind taught him to view the world with his eyes wide open, and not let anything hinder his potential. There was one area that he touched on that I think is important. He talked about how our sight is more connected to the brain than any other sense. But, there are numerous factors linked to our sight, such as mental processes, that affect what we actually see. He gave the example of fear, and how fear fills in gaps of our vision with awful things. This is an example of how our sense perception influences our understanding of the world, and how it is not always reliable. Although Lidsky lost his sight, he felt that he didn't need it to have a good understanding of the world. Actually, he claims that becoming blind actually gave him more insight into the world. It made him realize that sometimes he was being fooled by his sight, and he shouldn't let that hold him back. He believes that "seeing is not always believing," as there are numerous factors which can actually change what we see.

Extension Proposal

Ted Talk by Donald Hoffman: Do we see reality as it is?

This relates to a couple of essential questions; the first is "how can we know if our senses are reliable?" and the second is "to what degree are our sense perceptions shaped by expectations?" The reason that this should be in our elective readings because it is interesting and adds to the chapter of sense perception by challenging how reliable our senses actually are. It talks about how our minds construct reality for us, and how our senses can influence the creation of that reality.

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