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It has to learn to construct perceptual categories through which it can perceive the differences between various sights, sounds, smells and feelings.The infant’s visual world is formless, shapeless and chaotic.
Contents: Perception involves arriving at meanings often leading to action.
The infant, therefore, is able only to receive sensory input; it is not able to ‘perceive’ anything meaningful.
The phenomenological writers tended to lay emphasis on the inner processes rather than just experience and stimulus characteristics.
The phenomenological view gained popularity through the writings of Husserel Brentano and Carl Stumpf.
Thus the infant’s world is neither a confusion nor a chaos as it was earlier made out to be.
Of course, the infant cannot perceive all objects with the same depth of meaning and understanding as adults can.
The real physical categories that exist in the world like forms, sounds and colours have to be repeated a sufficient number of times to be perceived as distinct and separate impressions by the infant.
In this way the infant learns to perceive forms and objects and associates them with various meanings in their context.
Without the benefits of experience there can be no meaning attached to stimuli or to sensations, and thus, there can be no ‘perception’.
Thus, the phenomenon of perception was, for the structuralists, the sum of mere sensations and the meaning associated with it through experience.