Sense vs. Feeling

By Jaxson

Main Difference

The main difference between Sense and Feeling is that the Sense is a physiological capacity of organisms that provides data for perception and Feeling is a conscious subjective experience of emotion.

  • Sense

    A sense is a physiological capacity of organisms that provides data for perception. The senses and their operation, classification, and theory are overlapping topics studied by a variety of fields, most notably neuroscience, cognitive psychology (or cognitive science), and philosophy of perception. The nervous system has a specific sensory nervous system, and a sense organ, or sensor, dedicated to each sense.

    Humans have a multitude of sensors. Sight (vision), hearing (audition), taste (gustation), smell (olfaction), and touch (somatosensation) are the five traditionally recognized senses. The ability to detect other stimuli beyond those governed by these most broadly recognized senses also exists, and these sensory modalities include temperature (thermoception), kinesthetic sense (proprioception), pain (nociception), balance (equilibrioception), vibration (mechanoreception), and various internal stimuli (e.g. the different chemoreceptors for detecting salt and carbon dioxide concentrations in the blood, or sense of hunger and sense of thirst). However, what constitutes a sense is a matter of some debate, leading to difficulties in defining what exactly a distinct sense is, and where the borders between responses to related stimuli lie.

    Other animals also have receptors to sense the world around them, with degrees of capability varying greatly between species. Humans have a comparatively weak sense of smell and a stronger sense of sight relative to many other mammals while some animals may lack one or more of the traditional five senses. Some animals may also intake and interpret sensory stimuli in very different ways. Some species of animals are able to sense the world in a way that humans cannot, with some species able to sense electrical and magnetic fields, and detect water pressure and currents.

  • Feeling

    Feeling is the nominalization of the verb to feel. The word was first used in the English language to describe the physical sensation of touch through either experience or perception. The word is also used to describe experiences other than the physical sensation of touch, such as “a feeling of warmth” and of sentience in general. In Latin, sentire meant to feel, hear or smell.

    In psychology, the word is usually reserved for the conscious subjective experience of emotion. Phenomenology and heterophenomenology are philosophical approaches that provide some basis for knowledge of feelings. Many schools of psychotherapy depend on the therapist achieving some kind of understanding of the client’s feelings, for which methodologies exist.

    Perception of the physical world does not necessarily result in a universal reaction among receivers (see emotions), but varies depending upon one’s tendency to handle the situation, how the situation relates to the receiver’s past experiences, and any number of other factors. Feelings are also known as a state of consciousness, such as that resulting from emotions, sentiments or desires.

    People buy products in hopes that the product will make them feel a certain way: either happy, excited or beautiful. Or, they find the product useful in some way, even indirectly such as to support a charity or for altruistic economic reasons. Some people buy beauty products in hopes of achieving a state of happiness or a sense of self beauty or as an act or expression of beauty. Past events are used in our lives to form schemas in our minds, and based on those past experiences, we expect our lives to follow a certain script. However, storytelling, commemoration and reservation of commemoration (the unwillingness to overtly impose remembrances), research and investigation, and many other activities can help settle uneasy feelings without “scripting”, without the ambivalence that feeling can only be “handled” by proxy, which is not always true.

    A social psychologist, Daniel Gilbert, conducted a study on the influence of feelings on events alongside other researchers. The results showed that when the participants predicted a positive feeling for an event, the higher the chances that they wanted to relive the event. Predicted feelings were either short-lived or did not correlate to what the participant expected.

  • Sense (noun)

    Any of the manners by which living beings perceive the physical world: for humans sight, smell, hearing, touch, taste.

  • Sense (noun)

    Perception through the intellect; apprehension; awareness.

    “a sense of security”

  • Sense (noun)

    Sound practical or moral judgment.

    “It’s common sense not to put metal objects in a microwave oven.”

  • Sense (noun)

    The meaning, reason, or value of something.

    “You don’t make any sense.”

    “the true sense of words or phrases”

  • Sense (noun)

    A natural appreciation or ability.

    “A keen musical sense”

  • Sense (noun)

    The way that a referent is presented.

  • Sense (noun)

    A single conventional use of a word; one of the entries for a word in a dictionary.

  • Sense (noun)

    One of two opposite directions in which a vector (especially of motion) may point. See also polarity.

  • Sense (noun)

    One of two opposite directions of rotation, clockwise versus anti-clockwise.

  • Sense (noun)

    referring to the strand of a nucleic acid that directly specifies the product.

  • Sense (verb)

    To use biological senses: to either smell, watch, taste, hear or feel.

  • Sense (verb)

    To instinctively be aware.

    “She immediately sensed her disdain.”

  • Sense (verb)

    To comprehend.

  • Feeling (adjective)

    Emotionally sensitive.

    “Despite the rough voice, the coach is surprisingly feeling.”

  • Feeling (adjective)

    Expressive of great sensibility; attended by, or evincing, sensibility.

    “He made a feeling representation of his wrongs.”

  • Feeling (noun)

    Sensation, particularly through the skin.

    “The wool on my arm produced a strange feeling.”

  • Feeling (noun)

    Emotion; impression.

    “The house gave me a feeling of dread.”

  • Feeling (noun)

    Emotional state or well-being.

    “You really hurt my feelings when you said that.”

  • Feeling (noun)

    Emotional attraction or desire.

    “Many people still have feelings for their first love.”

  • Feeling (noun)


    “He has no feeling for what he can say to somebody in such a fragile emotional condition.”

    “I’ve got a funny feeling that this isn’t going to work.”

  • Feeling (noun)

    An opinion, an attitude.

  • Feeling (verb)

    present participle of feel

  • Sense (noun)

    a faculty by which the body perceives an external stimulus; one of the faculties of sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch

    “the bear has a keen sense of smell which enables it to hunt at dusk”

  • Sense (noun)

    a feeling that something is the case

    “she had the sense of being a political outsider”

    “you can improve your general health and sense of well-being”

  • Sense (noun)

    a keen intuitive awareness of or sensitivity to the presence or importance of something

    “she had a fine sense of comic timing”

  • Sense (noun)

    a sane and realistic attitude to situations and problems

    “he earned respect by the good sense he showed at meetings”

  • Sense (noun)

    a reasonable or comprehensible rationale

    “I can’t see the sense in leaving all the work to you”

  • Sense (noun)

    a way in which an expression or a situation can be interpreted; a meaning

    “it is not clear which sense of the word ‘characters’ is intended in this passage”

  • Sense (noun)

    a property (e.g. direction of motion) distinguishing a pair of objects, quantities, effects, etc. which differ only in that each is the reverse of the other

    “the cord does not become straight, but forms a length of helix in the opposite sense”

  • Sense (noun)

    relating to or denoting a coding sequence of nucleotides, complementary to an antisense sequence.

  • Sense (verb)

    perceive by a sense or senses

    “with the first frost, they could sense a change in the days”

  • Sense (verb)

    be aware of (something) without being able to define exactly how one knows

    “he could sense that he wasn’t liked”

    “she could sense her father’s anger rising”

  • Sense (verb)

    (of a machine or similar device) detect

    “an optical fibre senses a current flowing in a conductor”

  • Feeling (noun)

    an emotional state or reaction

    “a feeling of joy”

  • Feeling (noun)

    the emotional side of someone’s character; emotional responses or tendencies to respond

    “I don’t want to hurt her feelings”

  • Feeling (noun)

    strong emotion

    “‘God bless you!’ she said with feeling”

  • Feeling (noun)

    an idea or belief, especially a vague or irrational one

    “he had the feeling that he was being watched”

  • Feeling (noun)

    an attitude or opinion

    “a feeling grew that justice had not been done”

    “if you have strong feelings about the proposal, you should contact the Office at once”

  • Feeling (noun)

    the capacity to experience the sense of touch

    “a loss of feeling in the hands”

  • Feeling (noun)

    the sensation of touching or being touched by a particular thing

    “the feeling of the water against your skin”

  • Feeling (noun)

    a sensitivity to or intuitive understanding of

    “she says I have a feeling for medicine”

  • Feeling (adjective)

    showing emotion or sensitivity

    “she was a feeling child”

Oxford Dictionary

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