Difference between Sensation and Perception

29/03/2020 1 By indiafreenotes

We have five different sensory organs: eyes, nose, ears, tongue, and skin. These five sensory organs are responsible for receiving different stimulations around us through seeing, smelling, hearing, tasting, and, finally, feeling through the skin. The signals which are received through our sensory organs from the environment around us are called sensations. Simply put, sensations are what our sense organs receive and transmit to the brain. Once the brain receives the stimulus, it converts the whole signal into feelings, taste, sound, sight, and smell. On the other hand, perception is almost like a sixth sense. It is what we perceive or form an opinion on of anything and everything happening around us.

The perception of a person is an absolutely personal experience. It is what a person thinks about his or her environment, and it is how the person looks at the world around him. It is more of a psychological concept than anything physical like sensations. Two different people can have different perceptions about the same thing. For example, in body image, a healthy person has a different perception about his or her body. Healthy people, even if they are a little overweight, react and see themselves differently and accept who they are or work towards achieving what they want. Once they achieve it, they stop. While an anorexic person, no matter how slim, no matter how underweight, has a perception that they are still overweight and stops eating food altogether to achieve, what they perceive, to be the right body for them.

Perception is what a person wants to believe, their personal opinion. People of different generations or people of different religions or people from different backgrounds have a difference of opinion only because they perceive everything differently. Wise people try to understand the perceptions of other people whereas unwise people believe that what they perceive about a situation or about a person is the only correct perception.

Perception and sensation are different mostly because sensation is more physical. Sensations arise only because the body receives a stimulus, and the body reacts to it converting the stimulus into one of the things that one of the sensory organs of the body can identify. However, perception is absolutely psychological. Perceptions are individual thoughts of individual people.

Sensation is objective. It normally just refers to the stimuli and the objective and universal affect of that stimuli. Everyone that has a functional eye and optic nerve have this, basically everyone that has vision.

Perception on the other hand is subjective. It is not necessarily universal and the same among everyone. This doesn’t have to be directly linked to the signal sent from the eye, various factors can make that interpretation of the brain make the image look different, both normal(physiological) and abnormal(pathological) factors. You don’t observe the sensing, but your perception of the picture the brain makes.

Processing of the sensation by the brain isn’t happening only for vision, but all inputs to the brain(tactile, smell, taste, and sound) and can be affected by various and there are many more factors that are involved.

In some way: Sensation is the raw material, while perception is the product after having been handled, manipulated and changed by the brain.


Sensation is the process of hearing, smelling, feeling, tasting, and seeing as a result of external stimulations received by the five sensory organs of the body; ears, eyes, nose, tongue, and skin. Perception, however, is the mental image of something or somebody made due to the different actions exhibited by the environment around us.