Perceptual Confusion during Cultural Displacement: an Argument for Ecological Psychology

dc.contributor.advisorSlors, M.
dc.contributor.authorHesen, J.C.G.
dc.description.abstractSensory perception is essential for our everyday activities. Anecdotal evidence from migrant memoirs suggests that sensory perception is sometimes seriously impaired shortly after arriving in an unfamiliar cultural environment. The sojourner is unable to discern certain culture-specific shapes, objects and structures in their perceptual field. As a result of this perceptual problem, the sojourner is left seriously disabled in their interaction with the new environment. In this article, I argue that ecological psychology of perception provides a better account of this curious phenomenon than cognitive psychology on the basis of the principle of explanatory parsimony. I maintain that the cognitivist’s explanation is indirect because it relies heavily on the internal, representational abilities of the sojourner. Ecological psychology, on the other hand, targets precisely what seems to be at stake: the sojourners inability to perceive affordances in their new socio-cultural environment. Local socio-cultural practices shape the available affordances in the environment, and the socio-cultural context in which one grew up strongly influences the development of one’s abilities and skills. Together they determine which affordances one perceives. The change of socio-cultural context during cross-cultural transition presumably limits the sojourner’s field of affordances.
dc.thesis.facultyFaculteit der Filosofie, Theologie en Religiewetenschappen
dc.thesis.specialisationspecialisations::Faculteit der Filosofie, Theologie en Religiewetenschappen::Philosophy: Research Master::Philosophy of Mind
dc.thesis.studyprogrammestudyprogrammes::Faculteit der Filosofie, Theologie en Religiewetenschappen::Philosophy: Research Master
dc.titlePerceptual Confusion during Cultural Displacement: an Argument for Ecological Psychology
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