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Psychology Glossary

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Top-Down Processing



Top-Down Processing:

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Top-Down Processing is also known as "large chunk" processing and states that we form perceptions (or focus our attention) by starting with the larger concept or idea (it can even be the concept or idea of an object) and then working our way down to the finer details of that concept or idea. If you're the type of person who learns new ideas and concepts (or forms impressions) by starting first with the high-level aspects and then working your way down to the fine details, then you're a top-down processor.

This is the opposite of Bottom-Up Processing.