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Selective ListeningSearch Reading
Test of Writing
Careful ListeningCareful ReadingBUOWL - Bogazici University Online Writing Lab

 

DİKKAT!

 

Boğaziçi Üniversitesi basılı eğitim malzemeleridir.  Her türlü hakkı mahfuzdur.

 

Boğaziçi Üniversitesi Rektörlüğü’nün yazılı onayı olmaksızın hiçbir şekilde ve hiçbir amaçla kullanılamaz, çoğaltılamaz, basılamaz, kısmen veya tamamen yayınlanamaz.  Bu basılı malzemeyi fotokopi, optik veya elektronik veya herhangi başka bir teknikle çoğaltanlar, içeriğini başka bir ortama aktararak eğitim aracı olarak veya bir başka amaçla kullanan ve/veya satanlar ve çoğaltma ve yayınlama alanında yardımcı veya ortak olanlar hakkında derhal yasal girişimde bulunulacaktır.

 

Bu yasal olmayan uygulamaları lütfen 0212 359 45 40 no’lu telefona belgeleyerek veya takibe almamızı sağlayacak şekilde bildiriniz.

 

 

AFTER EACH PART OF THE TEST YOU WILL FIND AN ANSWER KEY. THE LENGTH OF THE ANSWERS BELOW IS TYPICAL IN THE B.U. PROFICIENCY TEST.

 

IT IS ADVISED THAT YOU KEEP YOUR ANSWERS SHORT. ANY ADDITIONAL INFORMATION IN YOUR ANSWERS WILL BE TO YOUR DISADVANTAGE.

   

SELECTIVE LISTENING

 

 

Click to listen to the instructions

 

“Now you will hear a lecture.  While you are listening to the lecture, you must answer the questions. The questions are in the order the information is delivered in the lecture.  Write only short answers.  Complete sentences are not necessary. 

 

Before the lecture begins, you will have three minutes in which to study the questions. At the end of the lecture you will be given three minutes to go over what you have written.”

 

“Now, you have three minutes to look at the questions on the Selective Listening Question Sheet.”

 

SILENT LANGUAGES

 

You will hear a short talk about SILENT LANGUAGES.  While you are listening to the talk, you must answer the questions below.  The questions are in the order the information appears in the talk.  Write short answers.  Complete sentences are not necessary.  Before the talk begins, you will be give three minutes in which to study the questions.  Write only on the lines ( ________ ).  At the end of the talk you will be given three minutes to go over what you have written.  Make sure everything you write is spelled correctly.

 

The link to the lecture is at the end of the questions

 

 

QUESTIONS:

 

1.  What is one of the functions of silent languages?

      __________________________________________________________________

 

 

2.  Why are the effects of silent languages not readily noticed?

 

     __________________________________________________________________

 

 

3.  What determines how we express time?

 

     __________________________________________________________________

 

 

4.  If a person is late for an appointment, he may appear to communicate   ___________________________  .

 

 

5.  The color patterns we use are reflections of our ____________________________  and ______________________________  .

 

 

6.  According to behavioralists, how do warm colors make a person feel?

 

     __________________________________________________________________

 

 

7.  What affects the nature of the communication in terms of space?

 

     __________________________________________________________________

 

 

8.  What does the European practice of placing a desk in a central location enable a person to do?

 

     __________________________________________________________________

 

 

9.  What does the size of a person’s office indicate?

 

      __________________________________________________________________

 

 

10. What is territoriality?

 

     __________________________________________________________________

 

 

11. As social creatures, why do we need responses from those around us?

 

     __________________________________________________________________

 

 

Click to listen to the lecture

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ANSWERS:

 

 

 

1. (to) establish contact / (to) develop relationships

 

2. because they are learned without awareness

 

3. tradition

 

4. hostility

 

5. intentions -- feelings

 

6. outgoing

 

7. the distance between people

 

8. impose authority (more easily)

 

9. that person’s importance

 

10. private space

 

11. to remember (that) we are not alone

 

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CAREFUL LISTENING

 

 

“For the second lecture you will have to take notes while you are listening.  Do not attempt to write everything down. Just note down the main points and examples. Do not look at the questions before the lecture is over. At the end of the lecture you will have 15 minutes to answer the questions using your notes.”

 

 

 

INTERPERSONAL AND MASS COMMUNICATION

 

 

 

Click to listen to the lecture

 

Do NOT look at the questions before the lecture is over

 

 

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QUESTIONS

 

 

Give short answers to the following questions, using your notes.  Write only on the lines ( _________ ).  You have 15 minutes.

 

 

1.  a) What is the channel in a conversation?

 

          ________________________________________________________________

 

     b) What is the channel in a newspaper article?

 

          ________________________________________________________________

 

2. When one attempts to “establish commonness”, one actually tries to

 

      __________________________________________________________________

 

3.  Why is channel noise considered a minor problem for the media?

 

      _________________________________________________________________

 

4.  What may hinder a speaker’s intended message? (State only one example)

 

       _________________________________________________________________

 

5.  What do people do when faced with communications that don’t appeal to them?

 

       _________________________________________________________________

 

6.  Which method of message control does a student make use of when he misinterprets his teacher’s message?

 

      _________________________________________________________________

 

7.  What is beyond the control of the source in communication?

 

     __________________________________________________________________

 

8.  How is the message generally conveyed in mass communication?

 

     __________________________________________________________________

 

9.  Why are feedback links much weaker in mass communication?

 

     __________________________________________________________________

 

10.  What is the most effective way to change someone’s opinion?

 

      __________________________________________________________________

 

 

11.  How can mass communication integrate society?

 

      __________________________________________________________________

 

 

12.  Name two examples of fads stated in the talk.

 

       a) _______________________________________________________________

 

       b) _______________________________________________________________

 

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ANSWERS

 

 

 

1. a) the spoken voice

 

    b) the printed word

 

2. share information with someone

 

3. the message is still clear

 

4. mumbling/mispronouncing a word / (using) complex language

 

5. (they) (simply) ignore them

 

6. selective perception

 

7. what the listener hears

 

8. through a machine

 

9. the audience is unseen

 

10. to chat one-on-one

 

11. by promoting unity on basic issues

 

12. a) fashion / social customs

 

      b) new language terms / personal health practices

 

 

 

 

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SEARCH READING

 

 

This part of the Reading Test is aimed at testing your ability to read quickly and selectively to find important information and ideas.  First, locate the part of the text, which provides the necessary information. Then, read carefully to answer each question. The questions are in the order the information appears in the text. Write your answers in the spaces provided. Give precise answers. You have 30 minutes to complete this part.

 

 

 

 QUESTIONS

 

 

1. The movement against animal experimentation in the 20th century changed the public opinion towards animals significantly. As a result, _________________________________________________ were made.

 

2. Which thinker believed that animals should not be treated differently from human beings when there is the possibility of suffering?

    __________________________________________________________________

 

3. A great number of thinkers believe that certain limitations should be put on animal experimentation. Therefore, nowadays, some European nations demand _________________________________ prior to laboratory experiments that involve animals.

 

4. A study carried out in the 1990s to understand why people did not favor animal  experimentation showed that ______________________________________  was not necessarily the reason for such disapproval.

 

5. In the discipline of ____________________, animals were not viewed by scientists as living souls that can suffer but rather as organisms merely reacting to ________ .

 

6. What helped scientists to cope with tension while experimenting on animals in the past?

    __________________________________________________________________

 

7. Recently, animal experimenters are more sympathetic to the needs of animals used in experiments; however, some researchers are against giving _________________ during experiments because they think this could eventually result in a loss of information.

 

 

 

 

ANIMAL EXPERIMENTATION

 

 

The number of animals used in laboratory experiments has been going down in the recent years. In the U.K., the Netherlands, Germany and several other European countries, the total has fallen by half since the 1970s. In Canada, mammals used in experiments have largely been replaced by fish. The U.S. uses between 18 and 22 million animals a year, but exact numbers are unknown. Primate use has stayed constant, whereas the use of dogs and cats is down by half since the 1970s.

 

No reason accounts for the decline, but several factors are obvious. In 1975, the animal-rights movement exploded onto the scene with the publication of Animal Liberation by the Australian philosopher Peter Singer. The book's depiction of research, and a series of exposés by suddenly vigilant activists threw a harsh spotlight on scientists. In the following years, public perceptions of animals became increasingly sympathetic. Several ethnologists related to an enthralled audience tales of love, sorrow, jealousy and deceit among primates. Although not so popular with scientists, such anthropomorphic views of animals led to the passage of laws regulating experimentation.

 

Scientists have changed as well. Those entering the biomedical profession in recent decades have absorbed at least some of the concerns of the movement, if not its ideals; many are willing to acknowledge the moral dilemmas of their craft. Some experiments that were applauded in the 1950s would not be done today because they would be deemed to cause too much suffering. Oftentimes biotechnology is allowing test tubes to be substituted for animals. And a few researchers, cognizant that only their expertise can help reduce the need for animals, are avidly seeking alternatives. All these efforts are bearing fruit.

 

The Philosophers

 

The underlying force behind these changes appears to be society's evolving views of animals. These perceptions owe a great deal to philosophy and to science and very little to religion. The Bible is unequivocal about the position of animals in the natural order: God made man in his image and gave him dominion over all other creatures. And although Hinduism and Buddhism envisage a hierarchy of organisms rather than a sharp division, their influence on the animal-rights movement is limited to vague inspiration and vegetarian recipes. The real roots lie in secular philosophy. In 1780, the English barrister Jeremy Bentham asked what "insuperable line" prevented humans from extending moral regard to animals.

 

The question became more poignant in 1859 with the advent of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. The theory provided a scientific rationale for using animals to learn about humans, and Darwin endorsed such use. But he also believed in an emotional continuum between humans and animals. This dichotomy inspired clashes between animal lovers and experimenters in 19th-century England, culminating in the 1876 British Cruelty to Animals Act regulating animal experimentation. But the phenomenal success of medicine in the next century made the animal-protection movement recede into the background.

 

It rebounded in the 1970s, with Singer's attack. A philosopher in the utilitarian tradition, Singer holds that all decisions should be weighed against the suffering – human and animal – caused in the process. Not that to him the interests of humans and animals have equal weight: life is of far greater value to a human than, for example, to a creature with no self-awareness. But if there is something one would not do to, say, a severely incapacitated child, then neither should one do it to an animal that would suffer as much. Ignoring the interests of an animal just because it is not human is, to Singer, "speciesism," a sin akin to racism. Invoking the connections between humans and the great apes, Singer, has issued a call for these creatures, at least, to be freed from experimentation.

 

Many other philosophers have lent their voices to the animals, but few have come to the aid of researchers. One who did so, Michael A. Fox, author of The Case for Animal Experimentation (University of California Press, 1986), later declared himself convinced by his critics and became an advocate for animals. Attempts to refute Singer usually involve pointing to morally relevant criteria that separate humans from animals. Raymond G. Frey of Bowling Green State University has written that animals cannot have interests, because they cannot have desires, because they cannot have beliefs, because they do not have language. Regan counters that a dog may well believe "that bone is tasty" without being able to formulate the phrase and that a human infant would never learn to speak unless it could acquire preverbal concepts to which it could later assign words, such as "ball."

 

Some research proponents also note that nature is cruel: lions kill zebras, cats play with mice. Evolution has placed humans on top, so it is only natural for us to use other creatures. This argument, which some say elevates "survival of the fittest" to a moral philosophy, falls prey to a proposition called the naturalistic fallacy. To paraphrase the 18th-century philosopher David Hume, what "is" cannot dictate what "ought to be." So natural history may well illuminate why human morals evolved into their present form, but humans can transcend their nature. One animal advocate declares: "Killing and eating (meat) is an integral part of the evolution of human beings. Not killing and not eating (meat) is the next step in our evolution."

 

Many philosophers fall into the troubled middle, arguing for interests or rights to be ordered in a hierarchy that allows some uses of animals but bars others. Such distillations of animal-liberation ideas have been finding their way into legislation. The U.K., Austria, Germany and several other nations insist upon a utilitarian cost-benefit analysis before an animal experiment can proceed. And in November 1996, the Netherlands passed into law the statement that animals have "intrinsic value": they are sentient beings, entitled to the moral concern of humans.

 

The Public  Opinion

 

Rational argumentation may have influenced public opinion, but as Harold A. Herzog, Jr., a psychologist at Western Carolina University, remarks, the average person's stance on animal issues remains wildly inconsistent. In one survey, questions phrased in terms of rats yielded a far more pro-vivisection outcome than those mentioning dogs. Jesse L. Owens, a neuroscientist at the University of Alaska, like other researchers is bewildered by people who eat meat and all the same condemn experimentation.

 

Not surprisingly, the animal-liberation movement has coincided with society's becoming increasingly distant from farms and shielded from the reality behind dinner. Those who grew up on farms often see animals as objects to be used, whereas those who had pets tend to express more sympathy. One line along which attitudes divide is gender. In all countries surveyed, women are more pro-animal and antivivisectionist than men, and three quarters of American animal-rights activists are women. Also noticeable is a generation gap. Surveys find that those who are older or less educated are more likely to see animals as resources, whereas those who are younger or more educated tend to view animals with compassion.

 

Public support of animal experimentation, though higher in the U.S. than in Europe, has been slowly declining. In 1985, 63 percent of American respondents agreed that "scientists should be allowed to do research that causes pain and injury to animals like dogs and chimpanzees if it produces new information about human health problems"; in 1995, 53 percent agreed. Even in disciplines that have traditionally used animals, the trend is unmistakable. A survey finds that psychologists with Ph.D.'s earned in the 1990s are half as likely to express strong support for animal research as those with Ph.D.'s from before 1970. (Part of this result comes from the increased presence of women, but there is a significant drop among men as well.)

 

Opposition to animal experimentation is often said to derive from lack of knowledge about science. But according to a 1994 survey led by Linda Pfeifer of the Chicago Academy of Sciences, negative attitudes toward animal experimentation in the U.S. correlate only weakly with lack of knowledge about science. In Belgium, France and Italy, for instance, greater scientific literacy is connected with an increased rejection of animal experimentation.

 

Sociologists agree that opposition to vivisection derives primarily from sympathy for animals. Almost all animal rightists are vegetarians; many are "vegans," eschewing milk, eggs, leather and other animal products. Some activists have indulged in threatening researchers, breaking into laboratories or even arson.

 

Many animal experimenters are also animal lovers. Surveys by Harold Takooshian, a sociologist at Fordham University, reveal that biomedical researchers have the same mixed feelings about animals and animal experimental research as does the general public. Thomas M. Donnelly, a veterinarian at the Rockefeller University's animal center, also runs a shelter to which he takes cats that are no longer needed for research. Almost all the toxicologists and pharmacologists at a 1996 meeting on alternatives to animal experimentation had experience with using animals and were moved enough by it to seek substitutes. Scientists choose to use animals because they feel it is the only way to help humans.

 

The Scientists’ Point of View

 

Of course, scientists' perceptions of animals have evolved as well. In the early 20th century Darwinian worries about emotions were dispelled by the rise of behaviorism. Because thoughts cannot be measured, but behavior can, practitioners such as C. Lloyd Morgan and, later, B. F. Skinner sought to describe animals purely in terms of their responses to stimuli. Bernard Rollin, author of "The Unheeded Cry" (Oxford University Press, 1989), argues that at some point, the animal psyche went from being impossible to measure to being nonexistent. The test of a good theory required all actions to be interpreted in terms of the lowest psychological faculties possible. In practice, this meant that a rat would not be feeling pain even if its "writhes per minute" were being used to test the efficacy of an analgesic. Its neurochemistry was merely inducing a physiological reflex.

 

 

Previously, it was often thought undesirable for a researcher to have feelings about the animal under study: emotions could impair professional judgment and also make it hard to perform certain procedures. After the death of a favorite animal, laboratory workers learned to avoid emotional connections with the creatures. The dissociation from the animals, which is often likened to that of a surgeon from a patient, allowed a researcher to function with a minimum of stress. Nowadays, many researchers are aware of dissociation and seek objective ways to detect distress. At a 1996 meeting on the "Guide to the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals" – a collection of guidelines that all researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health have to follow – veterinarian Gerald F. Gebhart of the University of Iowa stated that the pain-sensing apparatus is the same throughout the vertebrate kingdom and offered this rule of thumb: "If it hurts you, it probably hurts the animal."

 

Franz P. Gruber of the University of Konstanz in Germany, who serves on a board overseeing animal experimentation, says his committee does not allow studies in which the animal dies of the disease or procedure being studied. Instead the committee works with the researcher to define a stage at which the creature can be put out of its misery.

 

One area of concern to American veterinarians involves anaesthetics. These agents immobilize an animal for surgery, for six or more hours at a time. However, a few researchers are reportedly reluctant to administer additional anaesthetics for fear that it could kill the animal before the experiment is over, leading to a loss of data. But without such "topping up," the animal may become conscious during the operation and not be able to convey, by twitch or cry, that it is in agony. And some scientists object to using these agents because they do not want to introduce a new variable into the experiment.

 

Compassionate feelings for animals also influence studies, although researchers rarely admit to such unscientific, if creditable, motivations. When asked about their choice of species subjects, for example, three neuroscientists -working on monkeys, rats and frogs, respectively- replied unhesitatingly that it was determined by the scientific question at hand. But later in the conversation, the frog experimenter confided that he, personally, could not work on "a furry animal," and the rat experimenter said he would not work with a cat or even with a rat in a more painful protocol.

 

Summary

 

Due to the efforts of animal-rights activists and the growing awareness among scientists of the moral dilemmas caused by the suffering of animals subjected to laboratory experiments, there has been a notable decline in vivisection and allied practices in the last few years. Philosophers of the past and researchers of the present have contributed to an evolution in the general view of animals that has led to legislation assuring their intrinsic value as sentient beings with a moral right to our concern. Of course some scientists hold on to the view that the use of animals is necessary to alleviate the suffering of humans, but even such experimenters more and more seek to strike a balance between scientific imperatives and simple humaneness.

 
 
 
              

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ANSWERS

 

 

1. laws regulating experimentation

 

2. Singer

 

3. a utilitarian cost-benefit analysis

 

4. lack of knowledge about science

 

5. behaviorism – stimuli

 

6. to avoid emotional connections with the creatures

    OR

    the dissociation from the animals

 

7. additional anaesthetics

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CAREFUL READING

 

 

 

The questions in this part of the test are based on the passage Perceptual Constancy.  They are designed to test your detailed reading of English.  Answer the questions very carefully.  We expect precise answers.  For example, if the correct answer is “the change in behavior” no marks will be given for the answer “the change” or for the answer “behavior”. You have 40 minutes to complete this part.

 

 

 

QUESTIONS

 

 

A. 1. The BaMbuti in Turnbull’s experiment could not achieve size constancy because he was unable to correlate

 

         .............................................................. and ......................................................

 

 

     2.  Which approach to perception does the lemonade example explain?

 

          ...........................................................................................................................

 

 

     3.  Which approach has been criticized for ignoring what the constructionists emphasized?

 

          ...........................................................................................................................

 

 

     4.  According to the constructionists, what must the subjects in “the tape of spoken language” example have utilized in order to add the missing sound?

 

          ...........................................................................................................................

 

 

     5.  According to Kolers, which of the following words a person utters would he remember more easily at a later time?

 

             i) frequently used words in everyday language

            ii) words that are hard to pronounce

           iii) easily pronounced, short, simple words

 

            .........................................................................................................................

 

 

 

 

     6.  In Held and Hein’s experiment, what was found to be necessary for the

          development of perception?

 

           ..........................................................................................................................

 

 

     7.  Imagine a TV cartoon program where progressive changes in shapes are animated.

 

          According to Mueller and Kennedy, which one of the following cases would our perceptual system prefer most?

 

             i) all unrecognizable shapes turning into recognizable ones

            ii) all unrecognizable shapes turning into partly recognizable ones

           iii) all recognizable shapes turning into unrecognizable ones.

 

                .....................................................................................................................

 

 

     8.  Recent research shows that perception across cultures differs in (Give any one.)

 

          ...........................................................................................................................

 

 

 

B.  What does each of the following underlined in the text refer to?  Be very precise!

 

 

     9.  that (paragraph 1)

 

          ...........................................................................................................................

 

 

    10.  it (paragraph 1)

 

           ..........................................................................................................................

 

 

    11.  it (paragraph 5)

 

           ..........................................................................................................................

 

 

    12.  they (paragraph 12)

 

           ..........................................................................................................................

 

 

 

 

PERCEPTUAL CONSTANCY

 

Our perception of constantly changing objects in our three-dimensional world is characterized by a remarkable degree of constancy. A man is instantly recognized as a man whether he is standing upright or lying down, whether he is nearby or blocks away. Snow in deep shade looks white and coal in sunlight looks black, even though the intensity of light striking the eye from the snow is "less" than that from the coal. The adaptive value of this "object constancy" is obvious. By maintaining a stable and consistent perception of an object despite wide variations in the conditions under which we encounter it, we are able to cope more effectively with our environment.

Size Constancy

There are two principal facts that work together in the determination of the perceived visual size of an object: the size of the retinal image and the apparent distance of the object. Of two objects that appear to be at the same distance from the observer, the object casting the smaller retinal image usually looks smaller. Of two objects having retinal images of equal size, the object that appears farther away typically looks larger.

Under typical viewing conditions, our perception of objects manifests size constancy. That is, to a truly astonishing degree, a given object looks the same size to us whether we are near to it or far away. When the object is farther away, its retinal image is smaller, so why should we not see the object as smaller? The answer lies in the fact that the cues of retinal size and distance operate as a single perceptual system. As an object moves away, its retinal size decreases but its apparent distance, as determined by distance cues, increases. That is, retinal size decreases with a proportional increase in apparent distance.

Frequently, prior experience can influence size constancy. A particularly dramatic instance of this effect is provided by Turnbull. Working with the BaMbuti pygmies of the Congo, he found an impressive breakdown in size constancy when these people were placed in a totally unfamiliar environment. The BaMbuti live in heavily forested country and rarely if ever scan a distance greater than one quarter of a mile. A BaMbuti taken from his forest by Turnbull saw buffalo at a great distance and thought they were insects; he also saw a distant boat and could not believe that so tiny a boat actually held real people.

Theoretical Approaches to Perception

 In tracing the chain of perception from its start, the stimulus object, to the final link, the brain, we stress in this article, the organizing power of the system and the remarkable manner in which it achieves the perception of movement, space, and objects. At this point it is pertinent to ask whether the brain is simply the passive locus of perception or whether it plays an active and essential role in organizing, adding to, or creating the perceptual experience.

Various perceptual researchers have proposed somewhat differing approaches to this question. But much more must be discovered before we can integrate phenomenology and physiology into a genuine theory of perception. As we describe four of the major approaches toward a theory of perception, it will become obvious that each has a somewhat different primary focus. Since, in our opinion, the differences among these views are often a matter of focus rather than of basic contradiction, we shall treat them as complementary rather than competing approaches.

The Gestalt Approach

In the early years of this century, a small group of experimental psychologists in Germany began to champion what was then a radical view: that we naturally, normally, immediately, and directly perceive forms, figures, and objects that have properties reflecting the whole stimulus pattern. This conception ran directly counter to the orthodox doctrine, which asserted that normal and pure experience (unsullied by the perceiver's expectations, theories, etc.) was best described in terms of discrete, unorganized, and unpatterned primary sensory experiences—that is, the experiences produced by the individual stimuli. Thus, for example, we should say that we experience the sensations of sweetness, sourness, wetness, coldness, and so forth when we drink lemonade.

The movement begun by these German psychologists became known as Gestalt psychology. (Gestalt is the German word for "form" or "shape".) The Gestaltists believed in inherent or innate laws of brain organization. Gestaltists thought that a principle of "simplicity" lay behind the various perceptual factors they proposed. They asserted that any pattern involving greater symmetry, closure, closely knit units, and similar units would seem "simpler" to the observer. If a configuration could be seen in more than one way, such as a line drawing that could be seen flat or as a cube, the "simpler" way would be more usual.

The earliest, most fundamental Gestalt demonstration was that by Wertheimer of apparent movement (a completely convincing impression of movement given by a rapid succession of discrete but static pictures, as in motion pictures). In this phenomenal movement—so "real" as to be indistinguishable from real movement—it was manifest that the whole stimulus pattern yielded an undeniable quality of movement not contained in the constituent stimulus parts, each one of which was static, Here was a convincing illustration of the classic Gestalt dictum that "the whole is different from the sum of its parts".

The Gestaltists' prime emphasis was on the role of intrinsic mechanisms built into the nervous system. Thus they assumed that apparent movement was the outcome of "innate organizing tendencies of the brain".

The influence of the Gestalt approach on the field of perception has been immense. It has pervaded all modern conceptions of perceptual organization and functioning. At the same time many reservations have been expressed. It has been objected that the Gestalt approach in its preoccupation with innate factors of organization has not given appropriate emphasis to factors of prior experience.

The Constructionist Approach

It is suggested that we add remembered residuals of previous experiences to here-and-now stimulus-induced sensations and thus construct a percept. And, the constructionist argues, the processes of selecting, analyzing, and adding to stimulus information from one's memory store are the bases of organized perceptions.

Let us now examine on diverse examples of perceptual phenomena that seem to illustrate a constructionist view: We often fill in missing words or letters or sounds from our memory store as we respond to written or spoken language. Indeed, we may miss printing errors in words that we read, even when they are as blatant as one word being printed twice in a row in one paragraph. In recent studies similar effects were found in hearing spoken language. When part of a tape of spoken language was deleted, and a meaningless sound substituted, subjects said they distinctly heard the missing sound.

As a final example, Kolers has shown that the processes we use in analyzing both written and spoken sentences have an important role in recognition. He found that the printing style of written sentences was very important in their later recognition. The more difficult the printing style was to read, the better the later recognition. Kolers suggests that reading the difficult styles required more perceptual operations, and these operations formed the basis for later recognition. The machinery of perception was a basis for memory. Your difficulty in processing language is a boon to later memory.

The Motor Approach

Following the direction of Pavlov's early work, modern Russian perceptual research has concentrated on the role of motor behavior in influencing and guiding perception. In an experiment, Held and Hein raised pairs of kittens in darkness for about eight weeks. Then they allowed the kittens regular experience in a carousel. One kitten fitted snugly into a gondola, only its head peeping out (the passive kitten). The other kitten drove the carousel from a similar gondola, with head and legs coming out.

The "active" kitten walked around and saw visual effects corresponding to its movement. The passive kitten was exposed to the same visual changes, but did not make the movements that produced the visual changes. After some weeks of this training, the kittens were tested for visually guided behavior, and they differed noticeably. For example, the active kitten reached out a paw on approach to a surface and blinked when an object approached like a missile. The passive kitten did not.

Gibson's Ecological Approach

There is a good deal to be said for the commonsense belief that the stimuli which reach us from the stimulus objects around us in the environment at the moment are sufficient in themselves to permit us to perceive our environment accurately. A systematic account that has taken off from this commonsense view has been developed by the American psychologist J.J. Gibson. In Gibson's view, surfaces, which are highly important in perception, are usually textured, and texture forms the basis for our perception of surfaces. Perception of textured surfaces Gibson calls "normal", or "ecological" perception.

Gibson thinks that the highly structured world, with its textured surfaces, supplies sufficiently rich and accurate information from which the observer can select. One must select, he says, because the incoming information is so overly rich. In Gibson's view, our perceptual selection skills get better and better with age. In one experiment, he and E. J. Gibson studied how subjects learn to tell the difference between things that are perceptually similar at the outset. They propose that improvement in recognition of correct structure or pattern is an inherently "interesting" phenomenon and is something the perceptual system does spontaneously. In this vein, Mueller and Kennedy show that the progressive discovery of structure is more appealing to subjects than its opposite—progressive destruction of structure. They showed sets of cards in which scribbles either gradually took on the form of recognizable letters as the experimenter leafed through the sets, or gradually lost their letter shape, turning into scribbles. Subjects preferred to watch the scribbles turn into letters rather than the letters become transformed into scribbles. However, recent research reaffirms the message that while basic units such as lines have a universal meaning, the relations between objects and the interpretation of the seen world do not. They are viewed differently by different peoples.

Although the differences in emphasis between the four major approaches discussed are very real (in that they point to different research questions), they are for the most part complementary, rather than incompatible.

 

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ANSWERS

 

 

1. retinal size -- apparent distance

 

2. the orthodox (doctrine)

 

3. the Gestalt

 

4. the memory store

 

5. (ii)

 

6. motor behavior / movement

 

7. (i)

 

8. the relations between objects / the interpretation of the seen world

 

9. the intensity of light

 

10. an object

 

11. the brain

 

12. printing errors

 

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TEST OF WRITING

 

 

 

Topic 1

 

 

 

 

On the opposite page, discuss the effects of unplanned urban expansion.

 

The following points are given as guidelines. You may use these or any other points you wish to.

 

Points:

 

-         overcrowding

-         crime

-         housing (unlawful, unauthorized, unsafe)

-         unrest (social, psychological)

-         social services (education, security, health, infrastructure, traffic, etc…)

-         unemployment

-         social values

-         aesthetics

 

(It is recommended that you organize your thoughts before you write and check your work after you have finished. You may use the space below for your notes.)

 

Write about one page.

 

You have 40 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Topic 2

 

 

 

 

The lives of fatally ill people should be ended

 

Do you agree or disagree?

 

On the opposite page, write an essay taking the following points into consideration. You may use these or any other points you wish to.

 

 

For                                                                   Against

 

- end suffering                                                               - religious and ethical   considerations

- reduce financial burden (e.g. family,                            - new medical discoveries

  hospital, government)

- patients’ freedom of choice                                         - conflict over the decision-maker

 

 

It is recommended that you organize your thoughts before you write and check your work after you have finished. You may use the space below for your notes.

 

Write about one page.

 

You have 40 minutes.