Without the benefits of experience there can be no meaning attached to stimuli or to sensations, and thus, there can be no ‘perception’.
Thus, the phenomenon of perception was, for the structuralists, the sum of mere sensations and the meaning associated with it through experience.
The real physical categories that exist in the world like forms, sounds and colours have to be repeated a sufficient number of times to be perceived as distinct and separate impressions by the infant.
In this way the infant learns to perceive forms and objects and associates them with various meanings in their context.
For example even when we are listening to the teacher we are conscious of his voice, his movement, his appearance etc., but at the same time we respond to him as a single person.
How exactly are we able to relate to discrete sensory experiences in order to see them as meaningful? At any time we are attending to a number of stimuli.According to the structuralists, perceiving a chair means dissecting it into the elements of shape, size and angles of the parts of the chair, bound together by To the gestaltists, this molecular view of the subject destroyed one’s understanding of the phenomenon of perception as a whole.They demonstrated how perceptual phenomena often could not be reduced to elements.The total experience is something more than some of the individual elements and he gave the name Gestalt Qualitat to this.An example of the phenomenological process in perception can be clearly seen in our experience of illusions.William James described the infant’s perceptual world as a “booming, buzzing confusion.” However, what does this actually mean in terms of the process of perception?It means that the infant has to learn to differentiate between different sensory experiences.The real landmark in phenomenology was the work of Ehrenfels on tonal qualities.He emphasised the totality of experience in melodies. This process of organising and integrating discrete stimuli and responding to them meaningfully is known as perception. This shows that our response is integrated and organised to become meaningful.