etzel008: October 2011 Archives

Not Just Your Imagination

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How do we recognize the present, without confusion from the past? Our visual perceptions of the world each day are composed of both unconscious inferences from sensory information, as well as knowledge we have gained from past experiences in life. When first encountering a situation or new information, our brain forms a sort of predictive hypothesis or relies on our most 'immediate reality' to understand visual perceptions. (Gregory) When our brain is relying on our most immediate reality, it is filling in the gaps to complete the full picture of what we are visually perceiving.
As an interior design major, I find perceptions and illusions an intriguing and important way to create stimulating yet safe environments for users. Designers can use simple methods to alter our perception of interior spaces. Things like color, lighting, interior element placement, integrated (horizontal or vertical) lines and even mirrors can have a huge impact on the size, proportion and mood of a space.
Color can have a huge impact on a space and has the ability to change a space in all three dimensions. Colors can make a space seem smaller or larger, higher or lower, or even make you see something that isn't really there (filling in the gaps). Color can also effect the mood of a user. Brighter bold colors like orange and red are stimulating and can promote action or stress from over-stimulation, while lighter, less saturated colors are calming and can relieve stress.

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After studying the six principles of scientific thinking, Occam's Razor struct me as the most interesting. It can be applied to a myriad of supposed paranormal events that can usually not be disproven as a paranormal explanation; this is why we often consider the paranormal explanation for these events. The paranormal explanation for random phenomena such as UFOs, reincarnation, psychics, and near death out of body experiences occurrences seem abnormally exciting in our ordinary lives.
When studying Occam's Razor, a personal experience as a child came to mind. When I was 7 years old, I awoke Christmas morning like any bright eyed, exciting child at 6 am to discover what santa had delivered this year. To my surprise, this year was different; santa had left more than presents under our tree. My dad dressed my brother and I and brought us out to the driveway to see what santa had left, it was tracks from his sleigh left from landing on our roof! We were so excited, but I was old enough to question if santa could really fly all the way to our house and land on our roof to deliver presents. After thinking it through, I figured santa must have left those sleigh tracks, how else would they have gotten there?
Even as a child Occam's Razor determined my reasoning for a random phenomena. A paranormal explanation seemed more simple than trying to determine how else these sleigh tracks could have appeared...

-Amber Etzel

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This page is an archive of recent entries written by etzel008 in October 2011.

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