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What are the five stages of perception?

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Quick Answer

The five stages of perception are stimulation, organization, interpretation, memory and recall. Perception describes the way humans see the world and relate to experiences.

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What are the five stages of perception?
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Full Answer

The five main stages of perception:

  • Stimulation: In order to perceive that something is happening, it must come to a person's attention. Stimulation can occur through any of the five senses: smelling, seeing, hearing, touching or tasting.
  • Organization: To quickly disseminate large amounts of information, such as events happening, a human's brain organizes the events by familiar components. Connecting familiar components with past experiences helps the person understand what is transpiring.
  • Interpretation: Once the key components of an event are recognized, individuals apply their own biases to it through interpretation, sometimes referred to as evaluation. Relating past experiences, beliefs, values and more, a person can decide what the meaning of the event is and how to react if necessary.
  • Memory: To remember a perceived event or moment, it must be stored into memory. Individuals use those previously formed associations with personal beliefs and experiences to remember events and their personal evaluations of them.
  • Recall: Remembering the perceived event later on will retrieve the most important details of it. Blanks may need to be filled in by thinking through the situation again. Persistent recall improves the accuracy of this step.

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