Analysis of Value and Need as Organizing Factors in Perception, Article Review Essay Sample

Published: 2022-04-07
Analysis of Value and Need as Organizing Factors in Perception, Article Review Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Article review
Categories:  Child development
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 591 words
5 min read

The article Value and Need as Organizing Factors in Perception by Jerome S. Bruner and Cecile C. Goodman seek to investigate the determinants of perception with a particular emphasis on the role of value and need. Mental functions play an essential role in influencing one's perception of a process and the operation of perceptual processes also impacts on these mental functions (Bruner & Goodman, 1947). Previous studies have investigated various factors that impact on perception, such as reward and punishment. The paper is meant to test three hypotheses. The social value of an object is directly proportional to the behavioral determinants of perception, a high need for an object that is socially valued impacts on the operation of behavioral influences; and perceptual equivocality impacts on the operation of behavioral elements only when equivocality leads to a reduction in the operation of autochthonous factors but does not reduce the effectiveness of behavioral determinants" (Bruner & Goodman, 1947).

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The study involved thirty participants who were children of the age of ten considered to be of normal intelligence. A rectangular wooden box on one end and a 5" square ground-glass screen with a knob on the lower right end were used. Children were informed that the action before them was a game. Two groups of 20 subjects were administered two series. A child was required to approximate the size of the coins in both an increasing and decreasing order and make two judgments for each. The same experiment was administered to a control group of ten children, but medium gray cardboard discs were used.


It was found that coins were judged to be larger than the gray discs because of the social value attached to the coins. The value of the coin was also found to be directly proportional to the difference between actual and apparent size. It was also found that the size of the coins was overestimated least by the rich subjects than the rich subjects. Last, the findings show that equivocality had the most exclusive effect of lowering judgments in the direction of actual size. It is. Therefore, difficult to account for the difference and explain the why equivocality brings about the differences between the rich a poor subjects.


The study helped in testing and explaining two of the three hypotheses. It was confirmed that objects that are socially valued are affected by behavioral influences in an amount to their importance. Also, the need for an object that is socially valued has a positive impact on the operation of the behavioral determinants. However, the third hypothesis could neither be confirmed nor explained. The significant strength is that the study involves detailed experimentation for objective results. However, the way the experiment is documented makes it difficult for a reader to easily and quickly follow. Including other ages, such as adults would have made the study stronger and increase the degree of generalization across populations. However, the results are meaningful since they confirm that value and need influence perceptual processes among children.


The study informs us the role of value and need in perceptual processes among children. Socially valued objects and a high value of subjective need for valued social objects increase the role of behavioral influences of perception. I consider the reading a useful material, but whose applicability depends on further research on the same matter to refute or reinforce the claims.


Bruner, J. S., & Goodman, C. C. (1947). Classics in the History of Psychology: Value and Need as Organizing Factors in Perception. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 42, 33-44.

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