Factors That Influence Perception

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The first part of our perception involves the things that grab our attention or that keep our attention. There are intensities to events in life that get our attention right away, for example. When something effects our senses of sight, sound, color or taste in a big way, we pay attention or become attracted to getting more, getting involved, getting less or getting away. There are repetitive events and statements that get past our biases and filters to eventually grab our attention in subtle ways. Then, there are events and statements that we disagree with, either strongly or subtly when they are repeated again and again. Finally, with attention, we have biases that work for ourselves. When we disagree, we are right and the other is wrong. We are primarily responsible for our accomplishments while other people or other things are primarily responsible for contributing to our mistakes. After our attention is gained, however, there are factors that directly affect our perception in interpersonal behavior and relationships. If we are satisfied and happy with a person, we are going to take in their messages differently than if we are dissatisfied or unhappy with a person. If racial and gender bias, for example is involved, we are inclined to take people's messages differently than if we are racially and gender tolerant. We can be more favorable to the messages of a person when we desire more or prolonged involvement with a person. With the racial and gender bias example, we can have our desire set in place by our preconceptions and biases, which in turn affects how favorably or unfavorably we react to their messages, which include verbal and non verbal communication. Past experiences and expectations will influence our perceptions. With the race and gender example, if there have been successful working, school or other relationships in institutions that have a culture of working together, then there are greater odds that an individual's qualities, behavior...
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