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Skidmore College
First-Year Experience

Scribner Seminar Program
Course Description

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 is deceiving."

Course Offered