Unintended and intentional perception

According to the form of mental activity, perception can be unintentional and intentional. The first takes place when an object is perceived without a specially set task, when the process of perception is not associated with volitional efforts. Intentional perception is characterized by the fact that it is based on a task, it is associated with certain volitional efforts. The most pronounced form of intentional perception is observation. Observation is a long, systematic, purposeful, deliberate perception of a certain object. Surveillance plays an extremely important role in journalism. It will be successful only if the journalist is well prepared, if he has developed perception, attention, memory and other mental processes. The ability to observe is called observation.

Perception types

In psychology, it is customary to talk about three types of perception – synthetic, analytical and analytical-synthetic.

The synthetic type of perception is characterized by the fact that a person perceives the environment as a whole, in the aggregate, sometimes without noticing the details.

The analytical type of perception is expressed in a tendency to perceive details and in a difficult perception of the whole. In this case, there is a scrupulous penetration into the details, which does not allow one to be distracted by the perception of the whole.

Analytical-synthetic is the most common type of perception. Here there is, to one degree or another, a tendency to perceive both parts and the whole. Journalists should learn exactly this perception.

The perception of man by man

As an object of perception, a person is distinguished by a special social significance. When perceiving a new person for himself, the subject highlights in him those features of his appearance that provide information about his mental and social qualities. Posture, gait, gestures, facial expressions, voice, speech, behavioral habits, manners stand out in particular.

One of the first places is occupied by the professional characteristics of a person, his social status, basic moral and communicative qualities: evil, kind, cheerful, reserved, sociable, etc. Separate features of his face are also selected selectively.

The generalized image of a person that has arisen from external signs affects interaction with him.

The perception of a person by a person is subject to certain socially formed stereotypes, standards, standards.

Estimates and feelings of people in their perception of each other are multifaceted. But basically they are divided into conjunctive – uniting and disjunctive – separating. Disjunctive feelings are caused by what is condemned in the given environment.

Speech perception

Being included in the process of perception, speech makes it more generalized and differentiated. From a physical point of view, speech is a combination of sounds that varies in pitch and intensity. The volume of normal speech ranges from 30 to 70 dB. The maximum intelligibility of speech occurs at a speech intensity of 40 dB. At a speech intensity of 10 dB, speech sounds are not perceived as related words. Speech is especially muffled by low-frequency noise.

A person distinguishes one voice among two or three simultaneously sounding voices. When four or more voices sound together, the speech of an individual cannot be distinguished.

Speech intelligibility increases with visual control of speakers, the vocabulary of speech familiar to listeners, significant intensity of speech, repetition of complex phrases in their original form.

The optimal speech rate is 70 words per minute, the upper limit is 120 words per minute.

Long words are understood and recognized better than short ones. The length of the phrase should not exceed 7 ± 2 words.

In a word, its content and external form are distinguished : a certain set of sounds (in oral audible speech), a system of visually perceived signs (in written speech) and articulatory images (in spoken speech). There are over 200 thousand words in Russian, but not all of them are used by every person in communication with others.

Words are divided into syllables – pronunciation units of speech; in each word, some syllables are pronounced more loudly than others. The words in a sentence are pronounced differently depending on the speech intonation, the sound means of which are stress, pause, melody and tempo (the change in the timbre of speech also matters). With the help of intonation , the narrative, exclamatory or interrogative nature of the statement is expressed, the understanding of which is very important in the process of perception. In intonation, which provides expressiveness of speech, the attitude of the speaker to what he reports is revealed.

The most significant words should be placed in the first third of the phrase. The monotony of sound frequencies, long pauses, as well as the absence of pauses, make it difficult to perceive speech.

A word, in order to be perceived by ear, must have not only a certain number of sounds of a certain height and timbre, but also such an arrangement of them relative to each other that allows you to recognize the meaning of the word, its meaning and shades of the latter. Thus, for the normal perception of information by its recipient, it must have the property of semantic unity and integrity. The absence of it creates a distorted perception and reduces the effectiveness of communication in all cases, except when the distortion is caused intentionally.

Influence on the perception of functional factors

Functional factors are difficult to predict, but it is necessary to take into account the possibility of their manifestation in journalistic activity, since their influence is often extremely important in the course of perception. They can be divided into four categories: mental needs; current mental states; past experience; level of adaptation .

1. Mental needs , realizing the phenomenon of interest, act as direct motives for perception and turn out to be leading among functional factors.

Interest, awareness of the significance of what is being communicated have a far-reaching influence on the process of perceiving information by a person.

K.L. Helvetius noted: “If the physical world is subject to the law of motion, then the spiritual world is no less subject to the law of interests. On earth, interest is an omnipotent magician that changes the appearance of any object in the eyes of beings” (12) Helvetius K.L. About mind. M., 1938. S. 34).

The motives of an individual’s activity aimed at specific objects of interest, and the activity itself aimed at realizing the interest, are psychologically experienced in the form of a sensual and conscious attraction to the object “due to the vital significance and emotional attractiveness of the latter.”

Information about the object of interest has the same emotional appeal. Information satisfaction of interest solves one of the most important problems of human mental activity – his mental needs.

The journalist achieves the most effective contact with the audience, focusing on the mental needs associated with the interests of a different nature and different categories.

The analysis shows that the orientation of journalistic activity to the interest of the audience gives the most noticeable effect of influence through sharpening of attention and deepening of perception. At the same time, the latter is primarily directed by actual interest: what is happening today, now, is of the greatest importance for the individual compared to what happened yesterday or a week ago.

Ignoring interest as a phenomenon that organizes mental needs, both in the transfer of event information and in the course of communication of ideas, equally leads to the complete inefficiency of journalistic activity.

2. Actual mental states. Mental states – a psychological category that covers different types of integrated reflection of the situation without a clear understanding of the subject content. Examples of a psychological state are cheerfulness, fatigue, depression, euphoria, fear, boredom, etc.

Actual mental states most seriously affect perception. It is well known that the state of intense expectation leads to anticipation of what is seen or heard and generates distortions in perception. In the same way, fear leads to the wrong vision of an object: various rustles seem suspicious, sounds are louder, moving objects are larger. Something similar is happening in the field of mass communication.

Actual mental states largely predetermine the course and outcome of information perception. The chronic state of acute emotional insufficiency experienced by the individual orients him to the search and perception of bright, exciting information. The existence of the tabloid press is based on the deliberate exploitation of this regularity. It is also taken into account by commercial radio and television stations, which, together with advertising, provide a large amount of information that causes a variety of emotions.

Practice shows that if journalists take into account the current mental state of their audiences, the effectiveness of the impact of information increases significantly.

3. A person’s past experience can also act as a need for knowledge based on the previously known, or it can also act as a reluctance to perceive what seems already familiar – seen, read, heard. This experience allows the individual to make assumptions about the content of the messages offered to him and expect satisfaction from their perception. The effect of traces of what has already entered the consciousness on perception is manifested in the regular comparison of what is perceived with the existing knowledge and the measure of compliance with the learned stereotypes. On the same basis of experience, there is also an attitude to trust or distrust the source of information. In the past experience of a person, there is also an attitude towards the personality of a journalist, which has a noticeable impact on the perception of information coming from him personally. Sympathy for a publicist, announcer, a sense of familiarity, positive associations that their personalities evoke create prerequisites for a deeper perception of information. Taking into account the past experience of a person, group, audience is an important point in ensuring the effectiveness of journalistic activity.

Stereotypes. A journalist often has to reconstruct events based on other people’s reports. However, experimental studies have shown that even direct witnesses of the event are not able to objectively describe what they observed.

The credibility of testimony depends on the type of witnesses and events, as well as on the type of perception. So, it turns out that tactile, olfactory, taste perceptions are less reliable. Human hearing is unreliable in judging the source and direction of a sound. And when a person listens to other people, he conscientiously reconstructs the words that he does not hear. He replaces the missing words with those that correspond to his idea of the content of the conversation. Even visual perceptions can be erroneous, as occurs in identification, recognition, distance or quantity estimation, such as the size of a crowd. All these defects of perception are complicated by the tricks of memory and the exceptionally creative nature of the imagination.

Apparently, the eyewitness introduces something of himself into the description, and then presents it as an impression of the described event. The American journalist and researcher of mass communication W. Lippman believed that only a few facts come into our consciousness from the outside. Most, at least in part, are constructed in our minds. The perceived message is a kind of synthesis of the knower and the known, in which the role of the observer is always selective and usually creative. The facts we see depend on where we are and what our eyes are used to.

In order to characterize an object, it is not necessary to see it, W. Lippman noted. Usually, we first define it, and then we consider it. In the huge noisy multicolor of the outside world, we isolate what has already been determined by our culture. We perceive objects through the stereotypes of our culture.

What is a stereotype? Stereotype (from the Greek stereos – solid and typos – imprint) – a form of holistic, systemic activity of the brain, manifested in the form of a fixed (stereotypical) order of the system of conditioned reflex reactions in typical situations. On the basis of this physiological concept, the concepts of psychological, social, political and other stereotypes (the usual canon of thought, image of perception, automated behavioral manifestation) were formed. The social stereotype is

a stable, categorical and extremely simplified idea (opinion, judgment) about any phenomenon, group, historical personality, common in a given social environment (synonym: social stamp); acquired by the individual in the process of socialization. In this sense, the term “stereotype” was introduced by W. Lipman in the book “Public Opinion” (1922). Although a stereotype, by definition, has a social origin and distribution, the attribute “sociality” allows us to differentiate this concept from other meanings of the term “stereotype” (print stereotype; stereotyped behavior of an instinctive or conditioned reflex type, dynamic stereotype). However, the term social stereotype can also be understood in a narrower sense: as a stereotypical representation of a social group or community (and its members). Thus, social stereotypes are stamps of consciousness produced by the social environment and attributing certain descriptive, value and prescriptive meanings to social groups and their typical representatives. A social stereotype associated with a negative attitude towards a particular group is called “prejudice” .

Thus, in the process of memory, stereotypes are created – standardized, simplified images of some phenomenon that exists in the public consciousness and is assimilated by the individual uncritically, in finished form, as a kind of scheme. Stereotypes mnemonically fix not only the features of a given phenomenon, but also its emotional assessment. A stereotype arises under the influence of repeated emotional and semantic accents, with repeated perception of similar facts or information about them. The stereotypes retained by memory accumulate the experience of past communication, reviving in images, opinions, assessments, symbols, etc.

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