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Jumping to Conclusions: 6 Ways Perception Affects Our Lives

According to Wikipedia, perception is “the organization, identification, and interpretation of sensory information in order to represent and understand the environment”. Perception is how we interpret what is going on outside of ourselves. It’s the conclusions we jump to when we try to analyze events, circumstances, and the presentation or behaviour of others.

Perception involves processing sensory input from the environment and then assimilating that information with a person’s own expectations and knowledge. The entire process occurs on a subconscious level without a person even realizing it’s happening. Here are six ways perception affects us…


1. Beware of First Impressions

First impressions can make a lasting impact that is hard to shake. This is related to a phenomenon called the halo effect, in which a person’s initial positive perception in one thing carries through to similarly positive perceptions in the future whether warranted or not. The reverse is also true.

If a negative first impression is made, it becomes difficult to replace with a positive one. Unfortunately the halo effect distorts reality. These false impressions are the reasons why con artists can fool so many victims and why innocent people are sometimes wrongly accused of crimes they did not commit.


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