Psychology Essay #1 – Senses The average human being lives through each and every day using the five sources of sensation, whether or not it’s done consciously or unconsciously. These sources, known as the five senses- sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell- help in the process of taking in information about our environment. These senses, all very important, give us valuable data- what is out there in the environment, how much there is, and what it’s doing. To give up or lose one of these senses would be awful, as each of the senses gives us different input, but I would say the two I find the most important are touch and sight.
The sense of touch plays “an important role in keeping us standing upright, moving straight ahead and literally out of hot water” (Benjamin B. Lahey, 2009). Reading “Are We Led by the Nose? ” by Terence Monmaney, I came to understand the dangers of being unable to smell, which I never really thought about, such as being unable to smell the smoke from the fire that was in David Griffin’s apartment, not being able to “detect leaking gas” or being “poisoned by spoiled food” (Terrence Monmaney, 1987).
The dangers from being unable to touch/feel can be just as or even more perilous than other dangers from losses of other senses. Being able to touch and feel allows us to feel pain, which is perceived through pain receptors. These pain receptors send signals to our brains that we must discontinue the actions that are hurting our bodies. Along with allowing us to depict pain, the sense of touch also allows us to feel something very important to me as a human: the warmth and comfort of others. The sense of touch can also overcome disadvantages of losing other senses.
The use of Braille allows the blind to see, the use of sign language allows the deaf to listen, and the use of putting fingers to another’s lips to understand what he/she was saying (what Helen Keller did after treatment) allows the blind deaf to communicate. Losing the other senses would be horrible (except taste, for “at least three quarters of the flavors in food and drink are not tastes but aromas” (Terence Monmaney, 1987)), but I believe that you would lose the most from being unable to feel.
Considering that the sense of touch is the most valued among the five to me, I would say that touch would also be the most important. Another sense that I am appreciative of is sight. Much of our sensory information comes through our eyes; therefore I would be most shocked due to the huge loss of information. Being an athlete, the use of my eyes is absolutely crucial and necessary. The majority of my hobbies, sports, would be ruined for me personally, as I would never be able to play basketball, soccer, or football ever again.
I also wouldn’t be able to succeed or excel in my academics for some time. Our eyes also give us capabilities that we barely think about. A male college student, I take a priority in dressing nice, which has to do with a lot of matching colors. “Color is the experience that results from the processing of light energy by the eye and nervous system” (Benjamin B. Lahey, 2009). Without the use of cones in our eyes, I wouldn’t be able to tell colors apart, therefore wearing all kinds of horrible outfits.
I would believe that losing the sense of sight would be the most tragic because of the advantages we get for having sight. The five senses all give us so much information that we need in everyday life; we should be grateful of having the abilities to sense. According to me, among the most important of these five would be the sense of touch and sight, but one must remember that the other senses are just as important- opinions on which are more valued just depend on the situations and what is appreciated more.