Observation Lecture - 1 WHAT is OBSERVATION Lecture 1...

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1 WHAT is OBSERVATION? Lecture 1 OBSERVATION IN GENERAL Start with FACE slide - Ask them what they see? (If students has seen this image before ask them to be quiet). Get students to tell you what they see. Get them to describe to other students how to see it. The usual common sense idea we have of observation is that what we see mirrors what is out there. Photons come to the retina already "coded" with what is out there. This passive or mirror view of observation does not account for the example we are looking at.
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2 VG 1 MIRROR or PASSIVE VIEW OF OBSERVATION What the brain sees is a mirror of what is in the world. This view is questioned in recent research on perception. Introduce idea that observation is an active process - the visual data of the photons impacting our retinas haven't changed - what has changed is the way we "interpret" or "make sense" of what we see. We have to do something in order to see correctly. Observation is ACTIVE. Also we have to learn what to see - if we had never seen a human face what would we see? What would an alien see on looking at this slide? Imagine a people who spend all their lives looking at people's feet, beings who breast feed from the toes?! Would they see the face?
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3 Observation is learnt - indeed observing properly is a SKILL. Don't we learn to see faces first? Probably a survival instinct to see a face. Notice how important it is for us for the face to be the right way up - inverting the slide, it is harder to see the face. With inverted faces it is harder to see what is wrong - e.g.Madonna upside down, Margaret Thatcher upside down (show slides).
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