noun \pər-ˈsep-shən\

: the way you think about or understand someone or something

: the ability to understand or notice something easily

: the way that you notice or understand something using one of your senses

Full Definition of PERCEPTION

a :  a result of perceiving :  observation (see perceive)
b :  a mental image :  concept
obsolete :  consciousness
a :  awareness of the elements of environment through physical sensation <color perception>
b :  physical sensation interpreted in the light of experience
a :  quick, acute, and intuitive cognition :  appreciation
b :  a capacity for comprehension
per·cep·tion·al \-shnəl, -shə-nəl\ adjective

Examples of PERCEPTION

  1. <a writer of considerable perception, she remembers how it feels to be confused and insecure>
  2. <a growing perception of the enormity of the problem>
  3. It is ironic that the impact of smoking on nonsmokers, rather than on smokers themselves, is what finally transformed the regulation and cultural perception of the cigarette. —Allan M. Brandt, The Cigarette Century, 2007


Latin perception-, perceptio act of perceiving, from percipere (see perceive)
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Psychology Terms

fetish, hypochondria, intelligence, mania, narcissism, neurosis, pathological, psychosis, schadenfreude, subliminal


noun \pər-ˈsep-shən\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of PERCEPTION

: awareness of the elements of environment through physical sensation <color perception> <some sensation of perception of the extremity after amputation is felt by 98% of patients—Orthopedics & Traumatic Surgery>—compare sensation 1a


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Process of registering sensory stimuli as meaningful experience. The differences between sensation and perception have varied according to how the terms are defined. A common distinction is that sensations are simple sensory experiences, while percepts are complex constructions of simple elements joined through association. Another is that perception is more subject to the influence of learning. Though hearing, smell, touch, and taste perceptions have all been explored, vision has received the most attention. Structuralist researchers such as Edward Bradford Titchener focused on the constituent elements of visual perceptions, whereas Gestalt psychology has stressed the need to examine organized wholes, believing humans are disposed to identifying patterns. Visual objects tend to appear stable despite continually changing stimulus features (such as ambient light, perspective, ground vs. figure arrangement), which enables an observer to match a perceived object with the object as it is understood to exist. Perceptions may be influenced by expectations, needs, unconscious ideas, values, and conflicts.


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