Difference Between Sensation and Feeling

Key Difference – Sensation vs Feeling
 

Sensation and feeling are two words that are mainly used in psychology between which a key difference can be identified. Sensation refers to the process in which information is taken and interpreted by the human brain with the assistance of sensory systems. Feeling, on the other hand, refers to an emotional state or a reaction. As you can observe, one of the clearest differences between sensation and feelings is that sensations are mostly external, unlike feelings that are mainly internal. A sensation is a result of an external stimulus, but a feeling is not.

What is Sensation?

Sensation refers to the process in which information is taken and interpreted by the human brain. In order to take information the human body is equipped with five senses. These are known as sensory systems. They are vision, smell, hearing, touch, and taste. And these senses allow us to experience and enjoy the environment that surrounds us.

For example, imagine that you are at a beautiful park. You feel the sun on your skin, the fragrant smell of flowers, the wind in your hair and you see the beauty all around you. It is the sensation that allows you to enjoy this magnificent view. Each sensory system operates to transfer the information to your brain in order for you to enjoy the view. In order to transfer information, the sensory systems consist of sensory receptors. These receptors are able to identify the stimuli and convert them into electrochemical neural impulses that can be interpreted by the brain.

Difference Between Sensation and Feeling

What is Feeling?

A feeling can simply be understood as an emotional state. This comes from the verb feel. Feelings can be of such diversity ranging from love, happiness, contentment to anger, bitterness and even rage. They alert us as to how we feel. If a person is feeling depressed, this feeling makes us aware of our situation. Feelings are connected to so many aspects such as our emotions, thoughts, moods and even sensations. Psychologists believe that feelings are often very subjective. They can be influenced by the memories, personal experiences, and beliefs that people have.

Feelings can be understood as mental experiences of body states. They arise when the human brain attempts to interpret emotions. Feelings usually last for a longer period of time and can be triggered by emotions. Feelings generally play a huge role in how people behave and interact with the world around them.

Key Difference - Sensation vs Feeling

What is the difference between Sensation and Feeling?

Definitions of Sensation and Feeling:

Sensation: Sensation refers to the process in which information is taken and interpreted by the human brain with the assistance of sensory systems.

Feeling: A feeling is an emotional state.

Characteristics of Sensation and Feeling:

Nature:

Sensation: A sensation is mostly external as it is received by our senses.

Feeling: Feelings are not external and are mostly a reaction to emotions.

Duration:

Sensation: Sensations can change rapidly.

Feeling: Feelings usually last for a longer period of time.

Process:

Sensation: Sensation is believed to be a low-level process.

Feeling: Feelings are a very complex process.

 

Image Courtesy:

1. Child on a beach in Thailand By cyancey (Originally uploaded on flickr by cyancey (source)) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

2. Free clip art thinking By Kathy Terrill [CC BY-SA 4.0] via Wikimedia Commons