By: Vincent Pike  Introduction Introduction  Seeing What We Expect Seeing What We Expect  Seeing What We Want Seeing What We Want  Hallucinations

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IntroductionSeeing What We ExpectSeeing What We WantHallucinationsMass HysteriaNeurobiological Problems and Perceptual IssuesImplicationsTable of Content

IntroductionBackSeeing What We ExpectBackWe cannot always trust what our eyes tell usPerception is not always realityWe can actually see/hear things that arent thereA great example of this is this cubeThe cube either points up or down depending on the viewer's perceptionIntroduction

Our perception is good enoughTwo factors significantly influence how we perceive the worldwe see what we expect to see and what we want to see. Kida (2006. pg 102)Prior experiences led us to expect themDesires have led us to want to see themIntroduction (cont.)

Mass HysteriaBackOur expectations can make us see things that are not thereExpectations can lead to hallucinations!Kida (2006. pg 103)Expectations have a major effect on how we judge peopleThey also have an effect on our reactions as wellSeeing What We Expect

The Lunar EffectSome people believe that on a full moon people behave strangely

Two groups of nurses (one who believed in the Effect and one who didnt) were asked to monitor strange behavior of their patients during a full moon

The ones who believed in the Effect noticed more unusual behavior then their counterpartsTwo examples

The Surgery StudyAn interesting study to look into the impact of expectations of patients to recover from surgery

One group of patients was told what would happen in their surgery (how long it would last, type of pain, when they would regain consciousness, etc.)

Other group was told nothing.

The first group recovered faster and complained less about pain then their nave counterparts.Two Examples (cont.)

Seeing What We WantBackExpectations can influence but desires are an even more potent influenceMany things can act as those influences, such as religion and politicsWe look for patterns and it can lead us to biased perceptionAmbiguous stimuli can play an enormous job in these assumptions because it is left up to interpretation

Seeing What We Want

We believe that we are more likely to be better at what we do than other peopleThis can bleed into things like leadership abilities and our healthWe see what we want to see.Kida (2006. pg 109) For example if we believe in astrology we will think that horoscopes are accurate but if we dont then well be more likely to believe if the horoscope is positiveSeeing What We Want (cont.)

Normal people hallucinate!10 to 25 percent of normal people have experienced at least one hallucination in their lifetime (International Census of Walking Hallucinations)People are highly suggestible5 to 10 percent of us can easy be hypnotizedand enhanced suggestibility can influence our perceptions and believesKida (2006. pg 111)Hallucinations

A combination of our extreme suggestibility and misperceptionsCan spread like wildfireCan cause weird beliefs to become prevalentSalem Witch Trials is an exampleMass Hysteria

The brain is a complex organ that is constantly moving around information about what we perceive

If the brain is damaged in any number of ways it can hurt how our brain functions and it can change how we perceive thingsE.g. Phantom limbs, motion blindness, etc.Neurobiological Promblems and Perceptual Issues

Our brain has many ways to mess with our perceptionWe see what we want and what we expectExpectations can be both good and badHallucinations can spread like wildfire and cause Mass HysteriaWe cant always trust our senses and so we cant always trust eye witness accounts


Kida, T. (2006). Dont believe everything you think: The 6 basic mistakes we make in thinking. New York: Prometheus Books.

Works Cited