Tuesday 28th November 20117

Perception is something we all have, but sometimes use to the wrong effect. What do I mean by that? Well, firstly we must understand that we, “only have about 8 seconds to make a first impression”; we don’t have a second opportunity; therefore, our first impression makes a lasting impact that is almost impossible to shake off. It is related to a phenomenon called the “Halo Effect” which describes a cognitive bias when you are judging others in front of you, their dress, demeanour, attitude or just general appearance. In other words, the person’s character is influenced by your first impression about them. Unfortunately, your initial perception is the one thing you carry through with when making that initial perception into the future, whether it’s a positive or a negative one, warranted or not.


If your choice is a negative first impression, it does become difficult to change it to a positive one. These false impressions are often the reasons why you can be fooled by nuisance or unwarranted phone calls and innocent people are wrongly accused of terrible things. Everything is perception; it’s all you have. You think you are viewing your life through a camera lens, recording the events you see before you. However, everything you’re witnessing is being filtered through your own thoughts, beliefs and all you’re experiencing at that snap-shot of time.


You should also understand that “Sensation and Perception” are interrelated by a process developed throughout your life. Although having a close relationship, sensation and perception have distinct qualities that differentiate one from the other. Sensation is when a sensory receptor is stimulated, producing nerve impulses that travel to the brain, which in turn interprets such impulses as a visual image, a sound, taste, odour, touch, or pain. The physical stimulus present in the environment emits energy that is absorbed by a sensory organ (known as transduction), causing sensation.

Perception refers to the occurrence when your brain performs organisation of information it obtains from your neural impulses, and then begins the process of translation and interpretation. It is a vital process that helps you rationalise or make sense of the information related to the physical stimulus. Perception occurs when your brain processes information to give meaning to it, by means of emotions, memories, etc.


You must be careful, not to stereotype your perceptions and become influenced by an array of factors; they will include labels based on age, sex, ethnic background, sexual orientation, social status, religion and many other factors as well. These stereotypical facts may have been learned though your childhood listening to your parents and peers and can be very difficult to overcome and therefore shake off. They lead to inaccurate and in some cases unfounded assumptions, so please; you must look at the evidence and give an unbiased opinion. Selective perception or tunnel vision occurs when you only have a few facts to focus on and you simultaneously ignore or minimise all others; often occurring when you are trying to solve a problem or when you meet someone for the first time.


There are times when a self-fulfilling prophecy occurs when you have some internal expectation and subconsciously set up your environment into fulfilling it. You can be either negative or positive about it, which will directly influence your interaction with those around you. For instance, if you feel you’re a failure then you may not put a great deal of effort into a successful completion of a task or, indeed life. After all, if you think failure you only reinforce that negative perception of yourself.

On the other hand, if you think positively about what you want to achieve you will find that as you are attempting to complete the task you are exuding positive vibes around you and are more likely to finish the task or reach the goal you’re striving for.

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