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Awesome Ball Girl and Perception Essay

In the short video of “Awesome Ball Girl”, there is a young ball girl working in the field that makes such a great catch, most professionals would not have been able to make. At the start of the video you would think that you are about to see a home run after a great hit, but my eyes were drawn elsewhere; just like the crowd and two teams. This shows the first stage in the perception process: selection. Selection occurs when one or more of your senses are stimulated, where your mind and body help you choose what stimuli to attend to (Floyd 109).

Of my five senses, this video affected my vision and my hearing since I was watching a screen; more senses would have been affected if I would have been in the crowd. We do not necessarily make conscious decisions about which stimuli to notice and which to ignore. Research indicates that there are three characteristics that make a particular stimulus more likely to be selected for attention. (Floyd 109) The first characteristic is that something unusual or unexpected will make a stimulus stand out.

Second, that repetition or how frequently you have been exposed to something will make it stand out. Third, the intensity of a stimulus will affect how much you take notice to it. From the video “Awesome Ball Girl”, two of the characteristics that stood out the most for me were repetition and intensity. I do not watch baseball often so since I am not exposed to that sport often, it stood out to me. In addition to not watching that sport often, the intensity of the crowd made me more interested because I knew something big was happening due to hearing the cheering and gasping.

By the end of the video, all of my attention was focused on the young ball girl who just made an amazing catch. Once you have noticed a particular stimulus the next step of the perception process is to classify it by organization, the second stage of the perception process. Organization is the process of categorizing information that has been selected for attention – the mind will apply a perceptual schema to it for a mental framework for organizing information (Floyd 109).

Perceptual schemas help us organize sensory information in some meaningful way so that we can move forward with the process of perception. There are four types of schema that help to classify the information we notice about people: physical constructs, role constructs, interaction constructs and psychological constructs. (Floyd 110) Physical constructs emphasize appearances and objective characteristics (height, age, ethnicity, body shape) as well as subjective characteristics (attractiveness).

Role constructs emphasize social or professional position (teacher, accountant, father, community leader). Interaction constructs emphasize behavior (outgoing, shy, aggressive, sarcastic, considerate). Psychological constructs emphasize thoughts and feelings (angry, insecure, jealous, worried). (Floyd 110) Looking back on watching this video, I feel like I could apply all of these constructs to the young ball girl. She was a younger white female; her appearance was average height for a woman, not tall and not short with an athletic build – which is known to be attractive.

The announcer for the game calls her the ball girl as well as the title of the video which gave the role construct. The interaction I could see was that she was a “go-getter” and that she was not shy about going after the ball that the professional player missed. After the catch, she was walking back to her seat; she seemed insecure and or worried like she was thinking maybe it was a bad idea to catch the ball now that all attention is on her. Stage one, selection, helped me with stage two, organization because I knew what caught my attention.

Seeing a girl running down the side of the field, hearing the crowd cheering and the announcer going crazy made me realize that something spectacular was happening even though I don’t watch baseball often. Once my attention was focused on the ball girl, I was able to use the types of schemas to classify the information that my mind noticed. The third and final stage of the perception process is interpretation. Interpretation in the perception process is assigning all of the information from selection and organization and forming a personal meaning.

Three factors: experience, knowledge and closeness can all affect how you interpret something that you perceive (Floyd 111). Every person’s interpretations will most likely differ. For me, experience plays the biggest role since I used to play softball. I know how hard it can be to catch a ball at the rear of the outfield, let alone trying to scale a wall before catching the ball; which proves to me that this young ball girl has a lot of talent.

To some people that may be avid baseball fans that attend a lot of games, this could be an event they will never forget, but for me, it is just a very impressive video that I will probably potentially forget about due to my lack of interest in baseball. I do not have doubts that this video is not real or accurate. Crazier things happen every day! After going step by step through the perception process, I see a very talented young girl that has the potential to be a great player on a ball team.

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