The evaluation shapes perception as both an unconscious and a conscious process. This natural part of perception is relevant, for example, as a filter function and thus the cause of the selectivity of the perception process. For example, people with dysmorphophobia have an incorrect assessment.
The assessment shapes the perception as both an unconscious and a conscious process.
The human structures of perception enable people to form an image of situations and their environment. From the perspective of evolutionary biology, perception is synonymous with the chance of survival. His senses decide whether a person recognizes dangers and opportunities in good time and can then proceed to a reaction-like action on the basis of this.
For this very reason, the process of perception is closely interwoven with the process of judgment. Perceiving without making judgments is an impossibility. Perception is not only the first instance of forming an opinion about a situation and the environment, but also takes place on the basis of filter processes and thus unconscious judgments. This phenomenon is known as selective perception. From all the stimuli that act, what is perceived and what actually reaches human consciousness is selected.
Because of the myriad of permanently acting stimuli, such filter processes are necessary in order not to flood the brain with stimuli. As a filter process, the assessment of stimuli is a relevance assessment, which is mainly made through previous experience.
At the same time, cognitive assessment programs also play a role in processing the percepts that reach 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 what is perceived.
The filter processes and unconscious judgments in the perception system only allow people to perceive what is found to be relevant in the current situation. Patterns play an increasingly important role, especially those whose complexity lies between perfect symmetry and an absolute lack of structure. For this reason, people hide the ticking of the clock, for example, as long as it does not break the monotony. The confused sound of rain in front of the window is also faded out as long as no pattern structure can be seen in it. The unconscious search for patterns has helped humans to survive from an evolutionary perspective. The fact that he can recognize patterns is partly responsible for his survival.
But not only the search for patterns is a filter that shapes human perception. Personal experiences, expectations, interests and attitudes of the person also play a role in assessing and selecting the influencing sensory impressions. Socialization, for example, can be named as a first assessment filter. In addition to upbringing, experiences with one's own family, school and circle of friends or work group shape one's own world views and a person's values. Like the way of thinking, the way 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 filters for assessing perceived sensory impressions. For example, attention is drawn based on interests. For this reason, people are more likely to see what they own or at least have already dealt with. The judging authority of perception considers the familiar or the expected to be particularly relevant in this context.
A second assessment filter are feelings. The emotionally positive connection to a person allows the person to recognize the positive in all their actions. The same is true the other way around. In addition, extreme fear or high nervousness usually shapes the perception with a sharpening of the senses. From an evolutionary point of view, this phenomenon is again related to the increased need for attention and readiness to react in dangerous situations.
The human environment also influences the unconscious assessment of the perceptual stimuli, in particular the social role or situational power structures. Through these filters, the sensory organs absorb only a part of all possible stimuli. In the sensory memory, perceptions are checked for their usefulness and are transferred to the short-term memory when usefulness is recognized for further processing. Further processing corresponds to breaking up the information into small units. These units are processed separately and, for example, reinforced, toned down or evaluated before they are put back together again.
One of the cognitive assessment programs for this process is, for example, attribute dominance, which makes a single characteristic the decisive factor in forming an opinion. On the basis of the assessment by irradiation, humans draw conclusions from the properties of a single feature to other features, and on the basis of the halo effect, already existing judgments determine the assessment of new perceptions and their individual attributes.
The assessment of perceptions can be disturbed in various ways. Since it is shaped by experience and socialization, traumatic events, for example, can lead to a grotesque assessment of sensory stimuli. Psychology deals with such perceptual disorders.
Dysmorphophobia is an example of a disturbed perceptual assessment. This body dysmorphic disorder causes impaired self-awareness. The own appearance is judged to be misshapen. Those affected live with the fear of their apparent ugliness and react accordingly absurdly to their environment. Many of the sick have a negative attitude towards themselves even before the illness. In such a case, the person concerned sees in the mirror 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 a horrible “me”. It is impossible for them to make a realistic assessment of themselves and their perceptions in this regard.
Those affected often perceive their environment as attractive, but for those affected themselves, their own body image is associated with disgust. There is a large discrepancy between the self-image and the external image. In public, those affected often feel constantly observed and despised, which leads to fear of contact with other people.
The disease often begins in puberty, which often makes adolescents very insecure about their own appearance. In some cases, emotional injuries caused by the environment play an increasingly important role in the development of the disease and are so stuck that they are included in the perception filter as an assessment factor.
A similar example of a perceptual distortion of one's own self that occurs due to impaired perceptual assessment is anorexia.