Scribner Seminar Program
Perception and Reality: Psychology and Artistic Expression
Instructor(s): Hugh Foley, Psychology
"Seeing is believing." We typically trust our perceptions of the world, but is that
trust justified? In this seminar, we will use psychological research, plays, novels,
artwork, and movies to explore a number of questions. How does your visual system
construct the world you perceive? What might visual illusions tell you about your
visual system? What roles do artists play in allowing you to see the world differently?
Do your unconscious thoughts and desires influence your behavior? How important are
your memories for determining who you are‑and what would happen if you lost them?
Would the world look the same to you if you were autistic? Through the exploration
of such questions we will gain a better understanding of the complexities and ambiguities
involved in "seeing." By the end of the seminar, you may come to believe that "seeing