Wishful Seeing

How Preferences Shape Visual Perception

David Dunning, Emily Balcetis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

People assume that they perceive the world as it really is. In this article, we review research that questions this assumption and instead suggests that people see what they want to see. We discuss classic and current research demonstrating wishful seeing across two perceptual tasks, showing that people categorize ambiguous visual information and represent their environments in ways that align with their desires. Further, we outline when and how wishful seeing occurs. We suggest directions for future research in light of historical trends and contemporary revisions of the study of wishful seeing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-37
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Directions in Psychological Science
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2013

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Visual Perception
Research
Historical Trends
Direction compound

Keywords

  • categorization
  • distance perception
  • motivation
  • visual perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Cite this

Wishful Seeing : How Preferences Shape Visual Perception. / Dunning, David; Balcetis, Emily.

In: Current Directions in Psychological Science, Vol. 22, No. 1, 02.2013, p. 33-37.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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