perspectives

Topics: Theory, Book of Optics, Mind Pages: 3 (826 words) Published: October 8, 2013


Erin Lowell
Perspectives
Life Span & Introduction to Sociology
PSYC-2314-S03

In class we have been discussing the analogy of perspectives. A perspective is a way of seeing, also thought of as a ‘point of view’. This mental view or outlook can both enhance and constrain how we view the world in our own eyes. In the field of psychology and sociology there are many ways to perceive our world in which we live. No one perspective alone can define the world. Each perspective has its own distinctive strengths and blind spots. In class we have discussed different theories and analogies to better understand the complexity of perspectives.

Perspectives will both facilitate and constrain perception. A good example of this statement is the Burke Theorem. The Burke Theorem states that “A way of seeing is also a way of not seeing- a focus upon object A involves a neglect of object B”. My understanding of this theory is that if you only focus on one perspective for viewing, you end up neglecting other perspectives, which doesn’t allow you to fully see reality as you could from looking with more than one perspective. An example given in class was how each student viewed the same exact water bottle. Students sitting on different sides or directly in front of the water bottle will have different views. Students sitting in rows towards the left and right sides of the classroom saw the sides of the bottle, while students sitting directly in front saw the front of the bottle. And on the other hand the professor holding the water bottle only saw the straw and lid. With only using one perspective you neglect what else can be seen.

Another analogy we discussed in class was Maslow’s Hammer. Maslow stated that “It is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail”. This is an example of over – reliance on a familiar tool. If you go around living life with only one perspective, or way of viewing...
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