How does perception influence our thinking?
Perception influences one's thinking and vice versa. Someone said that the eye is the window of our body. That makes sense because we use our eye most of the time. What we see affects what we think. Eventually, what we think influences how we behave.
Encarta World Encyclopedia defines perception as "the process of using the senses to acquire information about the surrounding environment or situation." In other words, perception is the act of gaining information through our senses. Perception, therefore, utilizes all of the humans senses (i.e. sight, smell, touch, hearing, taste, etc.). For some people, other senses include spiritual, emotional, and instinctive (aka 6th sense) senses.
Another definition of perception is "the result of the process of perception." It is the information acquired by the interpretation of the senses.
Probably the most common definition of what perception is the "attitude or understanding based on what is observed or thought." In short, an "impression."
The Effect of Perception to Human Thinking and Behavior
One's perception affects one's thinking and behavior. The information acquired from the interpretation of the senses either alters the way one usually thinks or fortifies the way one think about things.
However, the process could be done in reverse. What people think will sometimes influence how they view new information. That is why sometimes people are skeptical when foreign ideas invade their minds. People's thinking or current perception of things or idea filters the new perception or information so that it fits the perception their mind is willing to retain.
Factors that Affect the Influence of Perception
There are factors that can affect the way perception influences our thinking. The most common is logic or reason. Human reason can filter out or accept new perceptions. Another is values. Human values and culture can also filter or accommodate new perceptions regardless of the logicality of new information. These values may come from religion or faith, education, or superstitions.
Perception and Media
The mass media is an important transporter of new information. Thus, it contributes a lion's share of proliferating new ideas and perception of almost everything around people. Since perception affects people's thinking, values and beliefs, almost everyday, they are challenged with various perceptions through the media. People can either choose to accommodate the perceptions bombarded on them or filter them out.
Perception and Personal Crisis
In counseling, perception plays a big part in personal crises. When crisis comes, one's reaction largely depends on how he/she perceives the problem. This is why counselors try to talk it out with them to challenge their perception of the problem. People with negative perception about the crisis tend to react negatively with the problem. In the same way, people with positive perception acts accordingly. The goal of counseling is to change one's negative perception of the crisis so that he/she may be able to cope up and regain the normal functioning level.