Perception and sensation are terms that have respective meanings in the realm of vocabulary, and they are sometimes mistaken as synonymous to each other. In the field of psychology, we often come across these concepts, and they tend to overlap each other in terms of usage. Consequently, we tend to interchangeably use them. The similarity of the two terms is that they are characterized by cognitive processes of the objective world. They also need the stimulation of the nerves as they occur in the human body (James, 1950).
Perception always involves sensation, and in turn sensation never takes place without perception. The two processes differ in their functions. An object that is near can be described with their qualities, such as hot, cold, red, blue, noisy, and painful, which are perceived by the senses. Through the experiences of the senses, the mind experiences pure sensation. The more we inspect the object, the more we categorize it in terms of measurement and how it compares with other objects.
Therefore, in classifying the object, the mind experiences perception (James, 1950). Sensation involves taking an analytical point of view. Its function is mere contact of the fact. It involves appearances that are unintentional. For example, when a person has a sensation of blue, it does not mean that he has any knowledge about blue. It means that the person senses blue but does not possess any knowledge about the object sensed. Perception, on the other hand, is having the knowledge about the object, its characteristics and aspects (Dreyfus, 1997).
The different kinds of sensation are “pain, numbness, temperature sensitivity, hearing impairment, tingling, burning or other types” (“Symptom: Sensation,” 2008, n. p. ). It can be triggered by various events depending on how our body will react to the different situations. For instance, pain, as a sensation, can be caused by sickness or ailments. Meanwhile, contact with hot and cold is an example of the stimuli which the body automatically reacts to.