261 THE VALIDITY OF THE TRANSACTIONALIST'S ASSUMED WORLD: A CRITICAL REINTERPRETATION OF AN EXPERIMENT IN SIZE CONSTANCY by Edward D. Fahrmeier The transactionalists have developed a great variety of per- ceptual experiments, but the finding tends to be identical in every case: the person does not depend exclusively on the energy impingements on his senses for his perception; also important in perception is what is termed the "assumed world," a collection of truths about the world gleaned from my past experience which determine what I perceive amid the possibili- ties of every energy impingement. In Kilpatrick's (1961, p. 39) words: "A given physiological stimulus pattern may be related to (produced by) an infinity of external conditions." Thus the "immediate occasion" is not enough to explain perception because it presents only possibilities. Assumptions about the world built up and modified through action make up an as- sumptive world which cuts through these possibilities to give a definite perception. "The assumptive world is conceptualized as that set of internalized, interrelated generalizations or standards which are not dependent for their effectiveness on any given reference point in space or in time. It thus provides whatever constancy there is in our environment
Journal of Phenomenological Psychology – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1973
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