Life Philosophy


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Ever wondered about the saying that goes “beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder”? I personally think that it is because of the fact that people perceive beauty in different ways. As our faces are different, so are are our perspectives. It is why one person’s food is another person’s poison.

Perception can simply be said to be the way in which something is regarded, understood, or interpreted. According to Alan Saks and Gary Johns, there are three components of perception; the perceiver, the target, and the situation.

The perceiver is the person whose awareness is focused on the stimulus, and thus begins to perceive it. There are many factors that may influence how the perceiver functions, basically including; their motivational state, their emotional state, and their experience. All of these factors, especially the first two, greatly contribute to how the person perceives a situation. Oftentimes, the perceiver may employ what is called a “perceptual defense”; where the person will only “see what they want to see”. That is, they will only perceive what they want to perceive even though the stimulus acts on his or her senses.

The Target refers to the object of perception; something or someone who is being perceived. The amount of information gathered by the perceiver affects the interpretation and understanding about the target.

The Situation refers to the environmental factors, timing, and degree of stimulation that affect the process of perception.

From the aforementioned, it can be said that perception depends on four things viz:

1. The way you see it.

2. Your point/state of view(the angle from which you view it): for example, how the number “6” is also seen as “9” when inverted. Or, how half a glass of water is “half full” or “half empty”, depending on the point of view.

3. What/how (they) want you to see.

4. How it actually is. Your mindset greatly determines whether you have a positive or a negative perceptory attitude.

The following story about a man who went for a job interview and how he applied the psychology of perception in answering a tricky question illustrates the power perception and explains all I have pointed out.

“When I woke up on the morning of that fateful day, the first thing that came to my mind was the job interview I had in my schedule that day. I jumped out of bed like a kangaroo, talked with God, and did my other morning routines. I felt really confident in my new tuxedo which I specifically got for the interview. I arrived an hour earlier to the scheduled interview time and used the opportunity to practice well enough and go over some random questions I would probably be asked. Just as I finished praying to God to help me through the interview successfully, I was called up. Everything went well during the interview process until the interviewer asked me a tricky question different from the several technical, logical, political, and straightforward questions he had already asked. This very odd question that geared me up made a scenario that went like this:

Interviewer– “Suppose, you enter a room and you find a naked girl. What will you do?”

Candidate– “I’ll take her in my hands and play with her.”

Interviewer– “What? Why?”

Candidate- “Sir, the girl can be a baby girl. You did not mention her age. I perceive her as a baby and I can play with her.”

The Interviewer was very satisfied with the answer.

Outcome of the interview? The guy got recommended for what he was interviewed for!

It is about your presence of mind and how you perceive things!!!


Abdulsallam Abdulsallam

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