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Perception is the interpretation that the mind puts on things as taken through sense. It is a fundamental concept in learning about the development of values and beliefs of different people. Cognitive psychology explains ideas through the use of internal states such attention, motivation, decision making and problem-solving. It focuses on how information is acquired, process, and stored which then lead to an act. This makes perception an important aspect while dealing with cognitive psychology.

 Perception helps cognitive psychology to understand why people put values on one thing and not the other. It helps to explain the difference in cultures and beliefs of different communities. Perception is as a result of interpretation of a sense by the mind, the interpretation guides people in selecting what information to belief. In other words, perception waits for the mind to organize and translate information into meaningful idea.

Cognitive psychology tries to explain the mental processes involved in developing a behavioral trait; this is with the assertion that behaviors of an individual is as a result of some information fed to the brain.  Cognitive psychologies explain ideas using experiments; the experiments may involve learning, attention or perception. It is at this point that the role of perception in this psychology can be derived; perception results from a set of processes when there is sensation. It helps to analyze the sensation, make decision, which will lead into creation of a mental representative of a matter.

As a topic in cognitive psychology, perception is important in explaining why a person chooses to behave in one way and not the other. One explanation given to what leads people in behaving in a certain way is that perception is influenced. Motivation, expectations, culture, and emotional states influence the perception of an individual; these cause the individual to behave in a certain manner.

The concept of attention

Attention is a selective act; it is a discriminating action and chooses between what is relevant and important, and irrelevant matter or thing. Attention is usually influenced by motivation; expectations also affect what one perceives. William James defines attention as  “the taking possession by the mind, in a clear and vivid form, of one out of what seem several simultaneously present objects or trains of thought”. The “taking of possession” in this definition is not a mechanical process; but it involves the integration of various brain processes which leads to commitment to a particular task.

Attention can be consciously allocated to tasks

It is possible to consciously allocate attention to a task; this is because of the power of decision that every individual possess.  One has the ability to choose on the activity where the brain energy will work and navigate away consciously from any other stimuli or interference. Attention restricts thinking about one area and allows concentration on the other; however, the unattended area can still be perceived though it’s only when the cognitive load is still low.

The relationship between attention and cognition

Attention is an important aspect to human cognition; it determines an action, a thought or a belief a particular time. The issue of limiting in attention gives the idea that mental events need commitment which must meet a limited budget.  This means that attention must consider cognitive load to avoid affecting performance. When the cognitive load is exceeded by the attention budget, the performance system collapses.

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