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Human Perception: an Intimate Look Into the Most Intriguing Aspect of

Oct 08, 1999 1198 Words
Human Perception: An Intimate Look Into The Most Intriguing Aspect of Modern Psychology.

It determines what we see, what we do, what we feel. It controls our emotions, our thoughts, and our conscience. What is this remarkable element of the human mind? It is called perception. Perception as defined in the Merrian- Webster Dictionary as the following-

1 a : awareness of the elements of environment through physical sensation
b: Physical sensation interpreted in the light of experience 2 a : quick, acute, and intuitive cognition : APPRECIATION b : capacity for comprehension

Perception. As hard as it is to define it, it is impossible to correctly conceive a "correct" or "right" way to use it. Perception varies with not only humans, but with virtually all other animals as well, whether through instinct or with conscious thought. Let us take this a step farther. When a bee looks at a flower that is meant for feeding from, they do not only notice the colors the human mind sees. The bee sees a yellow "run-way" directly into the core of the flower, guiding it into the source of nectar. This brings us to the question- "is what we see real, or is what we see our own reality?". What the human mind sees is only three dimensions. Since Albert Einstein first conjured the scientific possibility of a fourth dimension, human beings have longed to see it. Many people assume that it does not exist simply because they cannot see it. They are not able to see the yellow "run-way" into the heart of a flower, but to the bee and an ultraviolet light, that "run-way" is certainly real. People's physical use of their own perception is very limited, as such noticeable in the "tunnel-vision" effect. A good example of the Tunnel Vision effect is a perception or thought such as "if I cannot see it, it simply does not exist". We as humans are limited not only to what we can sense, but how we perceive what we sense. Such is a formidable question. What if that fourth dimension does exist, what if we can see it , only our brain cannot perceive it being there, therefor it never exists in the first place. I would consider that as a paradox.

Where does perception come from? Is it a result of the upbringing and surroundings of an individual (animal or human), or is it a result of genetics? Certainly I would believe that conditioning has a great impact on an individual's perception. An example to that would be as such : A dog is abused, beaten, and starved by a group of owners in a kennel. The dog is then recovered by the humane society and adopted by a local family. The dog in turns bites one in the family every time a hand is raised near it as a motion, for food or otherwise. The dog has been conditioned into fear. However, due to the conditioning, the dog perceives the hand motions differently than would a newborn pup. The dog perceives such hand actions as a premonition that it is about to be hit or harmed in some way. I can only conclude to myself that there is a distinct possibility that conditioning has the ability to alter perception in a great amount.

People often mistakenly identify people for others in many circumstances everyday. For example, I got on the bus to go to school a few weeks ago, and sat down next to a person whom I believed I had talked to the day before regarding a topic. I started to say something, I looked up and realized the person was a totally different person than whom I believed I was talking to. I had seen the person who I thought I was talking to when I got on that bus. The physical features, the voice, etc. all matched. However, a neuron must have misfired because there was an entirely different person altogether in that seat. I went to another seat, pondered it over, and realized how speculative human identification is. Often victims of rape, robbery, or other crimes are asked to identify their assailant in a police lineup. Seventy two percent of people misidentify suspects in police lineups the first try. The reason? The person sees who they "saw" when they were attacked. I would presume that during an attack, a person would be more concerned about staying alive than noticing the exact physical characteristics of the individual who is attacking. Since the brain is overworking to do multitudes of tasks at the time of an attack, I would assume that a person would not pay particular notice to the appearance of the attacker. This is why human visual identification is so controversial and hard to support. Perhaps the person *did* see that person who attacked them in the lineup. People often fill in the gaps of a picture and story to make everything seem clear to them and the authorities. Therefor, human visual identification cannot be trusted simply due to people's differences of perception. When I look at and read the Bible, I regard it as an awesome literary work, but not something I would base or live my life upon. However, there are those who perceive the Bible as not only words on a page, but as the guiding force behind humanity. Religion and perception do not go well together simply due to the vast differences in opinion among the human race. What I perceive as fact is that Jesus Christ did not ascend into heaven, and that the Bible is merely a literary work. A book to be concise. However, what Christians perceive as fact is the exact opposite. Often, there are those in the religious or family oriented lobby industries who try to suppress what I read or hear based upon their own perception, Perhaps this is stretching the links of perception, but I believe that the perceptual differences among people are the original roots of censorship. One group of people or person perceives something as obscene or "harmful". Another group perceives *the same thing* as intellectually stimulating or entertaining. Such is why I consider perception as not only having to do with human psychology, but with politics and beliefs as well.

I consider perception to be not only what a person senses, but what they get out of what they sense. I listen to hard-core rock and like the sound of it. However, an adult would most likely label it as simply "noise". The perceptual differences among people is the *single* biggest speed bump in attaining world, civil, and domestic peace. Our differences are small, but great in bounty. I see white, you see black. Never will all people in the world agree on one particular topic, however we can learn to respect the perception of that topic. Until people understand the roots of problems is how they perceive them, and that it is only a problem if you make it a problem, peace and respect are unattainable goals.

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