Perceptual Set

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  • The tendency to see in a particular way that is based on one's experiences, emotions, expectations, and assumptions about the world. It is the readiness to detect a particular stimulus in a given context. For example, a new mother is perceptually set to hear the cries of her child. Oftentimes, a perceptual set will lead one to transform an ambiguous stimulus into one that the person was not expecting. People can develop very different views of the same situation and create different sets. A person's context and perceptual set can influence his or her attitude toward groups of people. For more information, see Bruner (1957).

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