What is perception? To some it is the recognition of things using the senses while to others perception of something or someone is your understanding of them According to my studies in Psychological science, perception is the process of attaining awareness or understanding of sensory information. There are two basic theories of perception: Passive Perception and Active Perception. The passive perception is addressed could be surmised as the following sequence of events: surrounding → input (senses) → processing (brain) → output (re-action). Although still supported by mainstream philosophers, psychologists and neurologists, this theory is nowadays losing momentum. The theory of active perception has emerged from extensive research of sensory illusions and is increasingly gaining experimental support and could be surmised as dynamic relationship between “description” (in the brain) ↔ senses ↔ surrounding.
As for the common errors in our perception of other people, the first I want to mention is stereotyping. A stereotype is a simplified conception or image with specific meaning. They are typically generalizations based on minimal or limited knowledge about a group. Person or people may be grouped based on racial group, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender or community. Some examples are females are bad drivers, middle-age ladies usually labeled as “aunties” are “kiasu” and rude or all men are sex-crazed.
The second common mistake I want to cover is the Halo effect. It refers to a cognitive bias whereby the perception of a particular trait is influenced by the perception of the former traits in a sequence of interpretations. In other words a key feature or traits of a person dominate his evaluation of the person as a whole. It is also a term used in human resources recruitment. While interviewing a person, you might be influenced by one of their attributes and ignore their other weaknesses. Examples are many idolised David Beckham for his good...
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