Sensation & Perception - Meaning, Definition, Characteristics, Difference// Educational Psychology


Sensation & Perception

Sensation and perception:

Sensation occurs when sensory receptors detect sensory stimuli. Perception involves the organization, interpretation, and conscious experience of those sensations.


  • The Knowledge acquired through the normal functioning of five senses is called sensation.
  • It is the first step in the acquisition of knowledge.
  • It comprises of elementary, base and conscious experiences.


  • Perception is the process by which we become aware of changes by sense organs.
  • When sensation gets meaning it is called perception.
  • Perception is the way we perceive and understand things, objects come up persons and events.
  • Perception = sensation + meaning


  • According to S.S Sargent, “In a psychological sense the word ‘perception’ means both the physical act of receiving sense impressions and interpreting these impressions.”
  • According to R.S.Woodworth and D.G. Marquis, “Perception is the process of getting to know objects and objective facts by the use of senses".

Characteristics of perception:

  • Perception is meaningful.
  • Perception is selective.
  • Our past experience determines the nature of perception.
  • It is a synthetic activity.
  • There is analysis also in perception.
  • Both the aspects of analysis and synthesis occur at the same time.

Difference between Sensation and Perception

Sensation is a simple or elementary mental process.

Perception is a complex mental process.


Sensation is comparatively passive.

Perception is comparatively active.

Sensation is an abstraction of the mind or a result of analysis.

Perception is an actual concrete experience of the mind.

Sensation is always a sensation of sensible qualities.

Perception is always the perception of object

Sensation is primary

Perception is secondary

Sensation is merely awareness devoid of any meaning.

Perception implies apperception


In sensation, all knowledge is free from past experiences.

in perception knowledge is completely based on past experiences

Sensation is more of physiological nature.

Perception is more of psychological process

Sensation is a blind automatic and mechanical process.

Perception is meaningful and purposeful process

Why is sensation and perception important?

  • Sensation and perception work seamlessly together to allow us to detect both the presence of, and changes in, the stimuli around us. The study of sensation and perception is exceedingly important for our everyday lives because the knowledge generated by psychologists is used in so many ways to help so many people.


  • In conclusion, sensation and perception are two important processes that enable humans to learn and understand the world around them. They occur simultaneously as sensory receptors detect stimuli from different sources, which are then organized, interpreted, and experienced consciously during the perception process.

Post a Comment