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Illusions and hallucinations are two terms that come up when we
speak about perception, but they mean two completely different
things. An illusion is a misperception and a hallucination is a
Illusions and hallucinations are two terms that come up when we speak about perception, but they mean two completely different things. An illusion is a misperception and a hallucination is a false perception. The key difference is that an external stimulus is present in the case of an illusion which is not the same in the case of a hallucination.
What is an illusion?
It refers to a basic misperception when a person takes something for something else. Illusion distorts the reality of an object. It tends to deceive most people and is normal as well. It is not constricted to a certain organ but prominence is given to visual illusions. Under the Gestalt psychology, attention is specifically given to illusions that people can have, they point out various organizational principles that are significant when studying human perception and illusions. An external stimulus is very important for something to be termed as an illusion. For example, a bush can be perceived as an animal in the dark.
What is a hallucination?
These are false perceptions; there are no external stimuli as well. They can be a result of internal stimulation. Hallucinations are not universal, like how illusions are. They are unique and personal. Usually, people suffering from mental disorders experience them. For example, people with schizophrenia have hallucinations which could be auditory or visual.
These are the basic differences between hallucinations and illusions.