Theoretical Integration

One of the differences between constructivist theories and Gibson's approach is that top-down processes in perception are emphasised by constructivist theorists, whereas Gibson argued that bottom-up processes are of paramount importance. In fact, the relative importance of top-down and bottom-up processes depends on various factors. Visual perception may be largely determined by bottom-up processes when the viewing conditions are good, but involves top-down processes as the viewing conditions deteriorate because of very brief presentation times or lack of stimulus clarity. In line with this analysis, Gibson focused on visual perception under optimal viewing conditions, whereas constructivist theorists often use sub-optimal viewing conditions.

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