• Friday July 10,2020


The assessment shapes the perception as unconscious as well as conscious process. This natural part of perception, for example, is relevant as a filter function and thus the cause of the selectivity of the process of perception. An erroneous assessment is, for example, in people with dysmorphophobia.

What is the assessment?

The assessment shapes the perception as unconscious as well as conscious process.

Human perception structures enable people to get an idea of ​​situations and their environment. From the perspective of evolutionary biology, perception is synonymous with the chance of survival. His senses decide whether or not human beings can recognize dangers and opportunities in good time and, on the basis of them, move on to a reactionary action.

The process of perception is closely interwoven with the process of appraisal for that very reason. To perceive without judgments is an impossibility. Perception is not only the first instance of forming opinions about a situation and the environment, but also takes place on the basis of filtering processes and thus unconscious judgments. This phenomenon is known as selective perception. From all acting stimuli, one selects what is perceived and reaches the human consciousness at all.

Because of the myriad of permanently acting stimuli, such filtering processes are needed so as not to flood the brain with stimuli. As a filtering process, the assessment of stimuli is a relevance assessment that is primarily made by previous experience.

At the same time, cognitive assessment programs also play a role in the further processing of the perceptions that reach the consciousness. Above all, these assessment programs correspond to the irradiation, the halo effect and the attribute dominance and help in the conscious formation of opinions about the perceived.

Function & Task

The filtering processes and unconscious judgments in the perception system allow people to perceive only what is considered relevant in the current situation. Patterns play an increased role, especially those whose complexity lies between a perfect symmetry and an absolute structurelessness. For this reason, human beings, for example, blind the ticking of the clock, as long as it does not break the monotony. Likewise, the confused sound of rain in front of the window disappears as long as no pattern structure can be discerned in it. The unconscious search for patterns has helped man from an evolutionary point of view in the survival. That he can recognize patterns is responsible for his survival.

But not only the search for patterns characterizes human perception as a filter. The personal experiences, expectations, interests and attitudes of humans also play a role in the assessment and selection of the impacting sensory impressions. For example, socialization can be mentioned as a first assessment filter. In addition to education, experiences with one's own family, the school and the circle of friends or the working group shape one's own world conceptions and the values ​​of a person. Like the way of thinking, the mode of perception is already shaped by these experiences.

In addition to values ​​and opinions, the social environment, for example, shapes interests and prejudices, all of which come into effect as assessment filters of perceived sensory impressions. For example, attention is directed by interests. For this reason, the human being sees more of what he himself possesses or with which he has at least already dealt with. The judgmental authority of perception considers the familiar or expected to be particularly relevant in this context.

A second rating filter is feelings. The emotionally positive connection to a person makes the person realize the positive in all his actions. The same applies the other way round. In addition, extreme anxiety or high nervousness usually characterizes the perception with a sensory enhancement. From the point of view of evolutionary biology, this phenomenon is again linked to the increased demand for attention and the willingness to react in dangerous situations.

The human environment also influences the unconscious assessment of perceptual stimuli, in particular the social role or situational power structures. Through these filters, the sense organs absorb only a part of all possible stimuli. In sensory memory, perceptions are tested for their usefulness and pass into short-term memory when they are identified for further processing. The further processing corresponds to a fragmentation of the information into small units. These units are processed separately and, for example, reinforced, tempered or evaluated before being reassembled.

One of the cognitive assessment programs for this process is, for example, attribute dominance, which makes a single feature a crucial factor in opinion formation. On the basis of the assessment by irradiation, the human being concludes from the properties of a single trait to other traits and, due to the halo effect, already existing judgments determine the judgment of new perceptions and their individual attributes.

Diseases & complaints

The judgment of perceptions can be disturbed in various ways. As it is characterized by experience and socialization, for example, traumatic events can lead to a grotesque assessment of sensory stimuli. Psychology deals with such perceptual disorders.

An example of a disturbed perceptual assessment is dysmorphophobia. This body dysmorphic disorder causes a disturbed self-perception. The own appearance is judged as deformed. The victims live with the fear of their apparent ugliness and react accordingly absurd to their environment. Many sufferers already have a negative attitude towards their own person before the illness. In such a case, the person in the mirror sees what he ultimately expects of himself, namely ugliness. The patients develop a hatred of their own body and experience themselves in the mirror again and again as horrible "me". A realistic assessment of one's own personality and perceptions is impossible for them.

Their environment often perceives those affected as attractive, for the affected person, however, their own body image is associated with disgust. So there is a big discrepancy between the self-image and the foreign image. In public, the victims often feel constantly observed and despised, which leads to contact fears with other people.

Their beginnings often takes the disease during puberty, which often confuses the adolescent with respect to their own appearance anyway. In part, mental injuries by the environment play an increased role in the pathogenesis and are so firmly established that they enter the perception filter as an evaluation factor.

A similar example of perceptual distortion of one's self that occurs due to disturbed perceptual judgment is anorexia.

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