Book Definition: the view that perception is primarily shaped by learning (or experience), rather than by innate factors. [Innate being things, 'in nature']

In Your Own Words

  • Emphasizes nurture.
  • Inferring based on prior knowledge/experiences.
  • Emphasizes learned influences on perception,including the power of expectations, context, and culture.
  • Associated with Top-down Processing


  • When you see candles on a cake you infer a birthday because you have past knowledge of this.
    Number 21 Red Glitter Birthday Candle
    Number 21 Red Glitter Birthday Candle
    (In this picture we would infer that the person is turning 21.)

  • When a child is young they might want to play with fire, when they burn themselves, they learn not to touch it next time.

Additional Resources

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