Defending the liberal-content view of perceptual experience: direct social perception of emotions and person impressions
- 340 Downloads
The debate about direct perception encompasses different topics, one of which concerns the richness of the contents of perceptual experiences. Can we directly perceive only low-level properties, like edges, colors etc. (the sparse-content view), or can we perceive high-level properties and entities as well (the liberal-content view)? The aim of the paper is to defend the claim that the content of our perceptual experience can include emotions and also person impressions. Using these examples, an argument is developed to defend a liberal-content view for core examples of social cognition. This view is developed and contrasted with accounts which claim that in the case of registering another person’s emotion while seeing them, we have to describe the relevant content not as the content of a perceptual experience, but of a perceptual belief. The paper defends the view that perceptual experiences can have a rich content yet remain separable from beliefs formed on the basis of the experience. How liberal and enriched the content of a perceptual experience is will depend upon the expertise a person has developed in the field. This is supported by the argument that perceptual experiences can be systematically enriched by perceiving affordances of objects, by pattern recognition or by top-down processes, as analyzed by processes of cognitive penetration or predictive coding.
KeywordsDirect perception Rich content Liberal content Emotion Person impression Cognitive penetration Predictive coding Pattern recognition
- Avril, M., Leclère, C., Viaux, S., Michelet, S., Achard, C., Missonier, S., et al. (2014). Social signal processing for studying parent–infant interaction. Frontiers in Psychology. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01437.
- Brewer, M. B. (1988). A dual-process model of impression formation. In R. S. Wyer Jr. & T. K. Srull (Eds.), Advances in social cognition (Vol. 1, pp. 1–36). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Brown, E. C., & Brüne, M. (2012). The role of prediction in social neuroscience. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 6(147). doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2012.00147.
- Dretske, F. (1981). Knowledge and the flow of information. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Ekman, P. (1972). Emotions in the human face. New York: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
- Firestone, C., & Scholl, B. J. (forthcoming). Cognition does not affect perception: Evaluating the evidence for ‘top-down’ effects. Behavioral and Brain Sciences.Google Scholar
- Fiske, S. T., & Neuberg, S. L. (1990). A continuum of impression formation, from category-based to individuating processes: Influences of information and motivation on attention and interpretation. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 23, 1–74. doi: 10.1016/S0065-2601(08)60317-2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Fodor, J. (1975). The language of thought. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell.Google Scholar
- Friston, K., & Frith, C. (2015). A duet for one. Consciousness and Cognition. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2014.12.003.
- Gibson, J. J. (1979). The ecological approach to visual perception. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
- Glock, H. J. (2010). Concepts, abilities and propositions. Grazer Philosophische Studien, 81(2010), 115–136.Google Scholar
- Heelas, P. (1986). Emotion talk across cultures. In R. Harré (Ed.), The social construction of the emotions (pp. 234–266). Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
- Hohwy, J. (2014). The predictive mind. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Hurley, S. L. (1998). Consciousness in action. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Keltner, D., Ekman, P., Gonzaga, G. C., & Beer, J. (2003). Facial expression of emotion. In R. J. Davidson, K. R. Scherer, & H. H. Goldsmith (Eds.), Handbook of affective sciences (pp. 415–431). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Kveraga, K., Boshyan, J., & Bar, M. (2009). The proactive brain: Using memory-based predictions in visual recognition. In S. Dickinson, M. Tarr, A. Leonardis, & B. Schiele (Eds.), Object categorization: Computer and human vision perspectives (pp. 384–400). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Le Doux, J. (1998). The emotional brain: The mysterious underpinnings of emotional life. New York: Simon and Schuster.Google Scholar
- Lutz, C. (1986). Emotion words on Ifaluk. In R. Harré (Ed.), The social construction of the emotions (pp. 267–288). Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
- Macrae, C. N., & Quadflieg, S. (2010). Perceiving people. In S. T. Fiske, D. T. Gilbert, & G. Lindzey (Eds.), Handbook of social psychology II (pp. 428–463). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Marchi, F., & Newen, A. (2015). Cognitive penetrability and emotion recognition in human facial expressions. Frontiers in Psychology, 6(828). doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00828.
- Matsumoto, D., & Ekman, P. (1988). Japanese and Caucasian facial expressions of emotion (JACFEE) [Slides]. San Francisco, CA: San Francisco State University, Department of Psychology, Intercultural and Emotion Research Laboratory.Google Scholar
- Newen, A. (2015). Understanding others—The person model theory. In T. Metzinger & J. M. Windt (Eds.), Open MIND 26. doi: 10.15502/9783958570320.
- Newen, A., & Marchi, F. (2016). Concepts and their organizational structure: Concepts are templates based on mental files. In D. Hommen, C. Kann, & T. Osswald (Hg.), Concepts and categorization. Systematic and historical perspectives (pp. 197–227). Münster: Mentis.Google Scholar
- Noë, A. (2004). Action in perception. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- O’Regan, J. K., & Noë, A. (2001). A sensorimotor account of vision and visual consciousness. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 24(5), 883–917.Google Scholar
- Pacherie, E. (2005). Perceiving intentions. In J. Sàágua (Ed.), A Explicação da Interpretação Humana (pp. 401–414). Lisbon: Edições Colibri.Google Scholar
- Panksepp, J. (1998). Affective neuroscience: The foundations of human and animal emotions. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Panksepp, J. (2000). Emotion as a natural kind within the brain. In M. Lewis & J. M. Haviland-Jones (Eds.), Handbook of emotions (pp. 137–55). New York: Guilford University Press.Google Scholar
- Rennig, J., Bilalić, M., Huberle, E., Karnath, H. O., & Himmelbach, M. (2013). The temporo-parietal junction contributes to global gestalt perception-evidence from studies in chess experts. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 28(7), 513.Google Scholar
- Siegel, S. (2010). The contents of visual experience. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Toribio, J. (2015). Visual experience: Rich but impenetrable. Synthese. doi: 10.1007/s11229-015-0889-8.
- Trujillo, L. T., Allen, J. J. B., Schnyer, D. M., & Peterson, M. A. (2010). Neurophysiological evidence for the influence of past experience on figure-ground perception. Journal of Vision. doi: 10.1167/10.2.5.
- Tye, M. (1995). Ten problems of consciousness: A representational theory of the phenomenal mind. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- v. Savigny, E. (1988/1989). Wittgensteins ,,Philosophische Untersuchungen“. Ein Kommentar für Leser. 2 Bände, Frankfurt a.M.: Klostermann.Google Scholar
- van Gelder, T., & Port, R. F. (1995). It’s about time: An overview of the dynamical approach to cognition. In T. van Gelder & R. F. Port (Eds.), Mind as motion: Explorations in the dynamics of cognition (pp. 1–44). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Wagemans, J., Elder, J. H., Kubovy, M., Palmer, S. E., Peterson, M. A., Singh, M., et al. (2012a). A century of Gestalt psychology in visual perception: I. Perceptual grouping and figure-ground organization. Psychological Bulletin, 138(6), 1172–1217.Google Scholar
- Wagemans, J., Feldman, J., Gepshtein, S., Kimchi, R., Pomerantz, J. R., van der Helm, P. A., et al. (2012b). A century of Gestalt psychology in visual perception: II. Conceptual and theoretical foundations. Psychological Bulletin, 138(6), 1218–1252.Google Scholar
- Welpinghus, A. (2015). Emotions as natural and social kinds. Münster: Mentis.Google Scholar