Studies in Experimental Reduction of the Autokinetic Phenomenon

Publication Year



Autokinetic phenomenon, experiment, visual sensory, perception


Medicine and Health Sciences | Mental and Social Health


The autokinetic phenomenon refers to the perceived movement of a stationary dot of light in a dark environment. Perceptual processes, though not completely defined as yet, are thought to be at the core of behavior, for it is how an individual perceives a situation that determines his reaction to it. in trying to define the perceptual process, it is necessary to separate the actual visual field from the brain function--and the autokinetic phenomenon seems to be a useful tool in this respect. The tiny dot of light is presented "...in an other-wise totally dark and thus totally unstructured field. While such a set of conditions is a highly 'unnatural' one, it does provide for the disclosure of processes at work in perception that are otherwise masked and overlooked." (19, p. 57) In studying the autokinetic phenomenon, the student deals with a perceptual illusion, for the situation presents an ambiguous environment in which the individual is given only the basic tool for perception--a single visual sensory input with which he creates results.

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