What is the Difference Between Sensation and Perception?

It is common to use these terms as synonyms, but it is important to clarify that they do not mean the same thing. Our main purpose is to make known the difference between both terms and thus be able to give the correct use to each context.

What is the Sensation?

Of Latin origin ‘senstio’ which means the impression that a thing gives through the senses . It is the response provided by the sensory organs (skin, eyes, ears, mouth and nose) to a stimulus.

Specifically, sensation is a process by which the brain processes information from the nervous system, and verifies the reaction to a stimulus.

One way to correctly convey the concept of sensation is through examples such as:

  1. Capture the sound of the wind (Through the sense of hearing)
  2. Perceive the smell of a food (Through the sense of smell)

What is perception?

From the Latin term ‘perceptio’ which means to receive and understand through the stimuli, sensations, impressions, senses and images of what you want to make known.

It is the act of receiving, understanding and interpreting external signals to us, through the sensory organs, specifically the perception obeys the interpretation of the sensations of each person. In other words, not everyone perceives things the same, what some perceive as loud sounds, another can perceive in a normal tone.

So what is the difference between sensation and perception and what relationship do they have with knowledge? Sensation  is also defined as the response of the sense organs to a stimulus (Feldman, 1999) . Perception is the   interpretation of those  sensations , giving them meaning and organization (Matlin and Foley 1996).

Resolving another question, what is the relationship between sensation and perception? We all know that human beings perceive the outside through the senses. Our senses are triggered by multiple stimuli. The brain is able to immediately transform the sensory messages that are received into conscious perceptions.

  • Difference between sensation and perception in PDF: view and download here .

Difference Between Sensation and Perception

  • A sensation is the immediate reaction of the sensory organs; perception interprets sensations to give them meaning.
  • Sensation is physiological in origin and perception is psychological.
  • Sensation is objective while perception is subjective.
  • The sensation is unconscious when obeying a sensory response, being the conscious perception when processing the information by the person.
  • The sensation is a response that is emitted when receiving a stimulus, and the perception is an explanation that we build.
  • Sensation is only made up of three elements, stimulus, sensory organ and response, while perception is made up of countless elements.

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