As human beings, we try to learn as much as we can from different sources. We learn by reading and observing from everything around us. What we pick up from our senses we process with our brain, drawing interpretations from the sensory information. What we interpret is turned into knowledge, something we gained. Yet, how do we know what we know is the truth, how do we know that we made the correct interpretation? How do we even know that the sensory information we receive is what it is?
First of all, we must determine the relationship between perception and sour senses. As stated above, our senses is the sources where information enters our brain, our perception is what we think that particular piece of information means to us. For different people, the rate and frequency that they use their sense also differs, including using which senses. For example, normal people like me would mostly likely rely more on our sense of sight and sense of hearing since those are the two senses which pick up the most information the quickest.
For people who are blinded, they would mostly likely rely more on their hearing and their sense of touch. This shows that everyone relies on their sense; however what prevents our sense from delivering faulty information? One way to prevent or rather confirm information we receive is to crosscheck it with more than one sense. For example, at the cafeteria there was a display of food. From the information taken in by sight, our brain would interpret that as food, edible substance, however, the absence of the aroma from the food suggest otherwise, which leads to investigation.
The reason behind the lack of smell is the display being a model, not actual food. In this scenario and similar one in real life, our perception is enhanced by our sense because they have signal or point out errors or inconsistencies. From those pointers, we, as knowers, can reevaluate our conclusions and further investigate the problem or credibility of the information before forming anymore conclusions. However, there are also exceptions to our seemly foolproof senses.
Usually they happen when we can only rely on a solitary sense. One very famous example is optical illusions. They may look or seem like one thing to you but in reality, you are deceived by the carefully drawn trap. This example serves to highlight the fact that senses can sometimes be misleading, especially since our brain are used to straight forward information. This is one of the examples where sense limited our perception, since we rely too heavily on one sense, even if we sometimes don’t have a choice.
Another example is the concept of current brain, experts have been able to identify signals in the brain that was believed to show recognition. However, a loop hole to this signal is that the brain is unable to distinguish between true and false memory, meaning that if a person believes strong enough, even if it is based on a false memory, the signal will still be produced. This example, while not explicitly tied to sense, can however show that certainty is not a given. The body and brain could still be fooled by false memories and beliefs, which limit perception.
Another interesting factor that would affect our perception would be our cultural background. Our upbringings influence how we see and perceive a certain action, a certain item etc. For example, someone with traditional Chinese cultural teaching would be scandalized when they see westerners greeting each other, usually by kissing on the cheek or lips. Traditional Chinese believe that there should be no intimacy or physical contact between unmarried males and females. It is considered as a form of manner and respect for both parties.
So when they see other people kissing, they would naturally jumped to the worst and wrong conclusion, since the scene absorbed by the Chinese’s sight is then processed as a scandal or disgrace due to their culture. From the points stated above, it can be concluded that our perception strengthened or limited by our senses depending on the situation. The same could be said for our cultural background. As a knower, it is vital that we reexamine our evidence and information before making premature conclusions.