Factors That Influence Perception
Perception is the process by which we gain information about our surrounding environment and the way we gain insight into our interaction and communication with other people.
Factors that influence our perception can vary widely depending on our personal background and our personal values. Perception can be influenced by our standard of education and the way we view the world in general. Also each one of us has bias against certain situations and will perceive them differently to other people.
It is primarily our senses which are involved in matters of perception and our attention may be gained by a sudden sound or a sudden event which provokes a reaction. Depending on the way we are and the attitude we have, we may either react favorably to the situation or tend to disagree with the situation.
If we are dealing with a personal interaction and our attention has been attracted then the way we handle the situation will depend upon how we perceive the other person, and how we feel the other person perceives us.
When dealing with the perceptions of other people we should recall the age old conundrum ‘how do we know that another person perceives the color red, as we perceive it to be’? Do they see it as red also?
If our perception of another is a happy one and our standards and values have a commonality, then our reaction will be totally different to if we are not happy with the other person.
In this case we should examine ourselves to ask if our perception of the other person, is based upon our own personal biases especially if race, age, and gender are involved.
By having communication with another person and understanding how they perceive us to be, it can frequently happen that our previously held pre-conceptions were false. So in this instance we have been influenced by the perception of another person, probably to our benefit.
Our past lives and experiences along with our aspirations for the future all have a strong influence on perceptions, and it is not wise to react to an event or a person suddenly. If we have an inner perception of a racial bias then this could change if we can recall previous situations or events which have indicated that we were mistaken in out perception.
We should realize that it is often our own self perceptions and bias mixed in with our cultural background which strongly influence the way we react to situations and interpersonal relationships. It is always wise not to make sudden decisions based solely on these self perceptions but to hesitate and think first.
Frequently people will comment that they respond to a ‘gut feeling’ when making a decision, but this is equally a false perception since we usually think with our brains and not our stomachs.