Perception is the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the five senses. It is a process by which individuals organize and interpret their sensory impressions in order to give meaning to their environment. You can as well say it is the way in which something is regarded, understood, or interpreted.
Through the process of perception, people gain useful information about the elements of their environment that are important to our survival. Perception creates our experience of the world around us and allow us to act within the said environment. It enables you sort out and organize the multifaceted and diverse input received by our five senses of sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing
What affects our perceptions
Because of its importance, how we perceive our environment can be affected by various factors which is important to understand. One of the major factors is the perceiver’s attitude, interests, experiences and expectations. Depending on individual’s state, the meaning he/she gives to a perception can be distorted and thus affecting his/her Reality, from which he/she creates a personal reality.
To understand perception better, Ohara Donshu shared a legend; The story of blind men appraising an elephant originated in the ancient Indian subcontinent, from where it has been widely diffused. It is a story of a group of blind men who have never come across an elephant before and who learn and conceptualize what the elephant is like by touching it.
Each blind man feels a different part of the elephant’s body, but only one part, such as the side or the tusk. They then describe the elephant based on their limited experience and their descriptions of the elephant are different from each other.
The lesson of the story is that people have a tendency or an inclination to claim absolute truth based on their limited experience ignoring other people’s limited experiences which may be equally true. This is because, our sensory perceptions and life experiences can lead to overreaching misinterpretations, how can you turn your limited experience of truth into one and only version of reality?
Truth is absolute, in the story of the blind men, each man had a limited perspective of the whole truth. This is not to mean there is no truth – truth is there to be discovered. Because you have a limited access to truth, it does not make other versions absolute.
According to Carroll, Conflict is viewed as a phenomenon which occurs between two people when, at least, one of the parties considers that his/her behaviors or views do not match with the other party and the other party has affected or has the potential to affect the interest of the second party. This is evident that, perceptions or our view of reality does not match that of the other person. Disagreement are ineviatble which could inturn boil conflict.
Listen to below YouTube Video where Fridah and I engaged and shared our thoughts about perceptions.