Teacher Training has already discussed earlier the fundamental processes of sensation and perception through which we acquire the knowledge of the world. Besides these processes, there is another important process namely image formation and imagining. Imagination may be defined conveniently as mental manipulation. This process involves the recall of past experiences in the form of mental images and arranging them in patterns they are familiar or sometimes in rearranging them in new and strange ways to produce new combinations.


Learning has been made possible because of our ability to revive past experiences. Can you recall the blue of the sky, or the tone of a violin or of a friend’s voice, or the odour of camphor or the feel of the lump of ice or taste of castor oil or the feeling of shivering on a cold morning? Almosteveryone will answer yes to some of these questions. The vividness will differ from individual to individual. In all the above examples, sense experiences are revived in the absence of the external stimulus. Such revival of a sense experience is called an image. An image may be defined as a revived percept without the stimulation of the sense organs from an external source. All the above examples are illustrations of memory images.


  1. An image is the copy of a percept formed in the mind, when percept is no more. It is the percept revived or reproduced.
  2. Precepts are occasioned by the stimulation of a sense organ by an external source, while images are ushered in without the stimulation of sense organs.
  3. Imager are subjective while precepts are objective, that is they are caused by an external stimulus; the order of precepts is determined by the stimulus while the images follow an individual’s interest.
  4. Images lack the peculiar liveliness or vividness of precepts. The faintest sensation produced by a whisper has a peculiar liveliness of its own, which may not be possessed by the image of the loudest report of thunder.
  5. Images are inferior in realism and completeness to actual sensory experience. You can test this for yourself. You may be having in your room a window with a number of iron bars. Close your eye and try to have an image of the window.Then count the numbers of bars of the window as seen in the image. Many subjects have replied that though they could see the image, they could not count the number of bars. The image thus lacks in details.
  6. Images are more unsteady than precepts. They are fragmentary. They appeared to be isolated from the totality of diverse sense impressions may be able to see the image of a temple, but I may fail to have at the same time the image of the sound of the ringing bells, the smell of flowers and the touch of the cool breeze which I actually experienced when I visit a temple.
  7. In perceiving we are relatively passive and receptive, but images are maintained before one’s consciousness purely by an effort of will.