What do you see?
A young lady or an old woman?
Sensory Perception is defined as:
The conscious recognition and interpretation of sensory stimuli that serve as a basis for understanding, learning, and knowing or for motivating a particular action or reaction. (www.freedictionary.com)
Sensory Perception is an interesting phrase – mostly because we trust that what our senses tell us is truth – but our perception is essentially based on what we think we are seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting and smelling and it is not necessarily the reality of the situation.
Hence, it is called sensory perception – meaning that we are only able to make conclusions based on what our senses discern, depending on what our past experiences have been. Of course, the problem with this is that sometimes we have had many negative experiences and we tend to perceive many new experiences in the same manner.
For example, if while the majority of society is taught that something is “blue” – we are told that this same colour is called “red” and no one tells us differently, every time we see what is society-approved as blue, we will inevitably call it red; causing our experience to be different and setting us apart from others. This difference in perception and in cultural teaching is what often leads to cultures and races being unable to truly understand or agree with each other. How many ideas, beliefs and opinions cause conflict among people because they believe their belief to be absolute truth.
Much of what we learn regarding our senses is based on what our society or culture teaches us to be “our truth”. Of course, there are things across humanity, such as “hot” that our bodies respond to instinctually – when our sense of touch sends a message to our brain that something is hot and could harm us – we automatically release or remove it from our hands.
Similarly, when we hear something that we perceive as negative or we might consider harmful to us emotionally, we also tend – or have learned to – react automatically – and not always in the most positive manner. This is metaphorically referred to as our “blind spot” – that part of us that is not able to see the situation clearly; and therefore, is not able to respond in a positive or healthy manner.
While it would be very difficult – although not impossible – to reprogram our brains to not respond to hot substances, it is absolutely possible to re-program our minds (and heal our hearts) about certain incidents in the past and therefore, learn to respond positively instead of react negatively to external stimuli that we perceive as harmful. Check out the Perception Test below and see how your perception rates!
Related Articles & Activities:
Take the Perception Test (Can you Spot a Fake Smile?) – Fun!
Physical limitations of our 5 senses (ie: blind spot):
Next Blog: Our Senses – Are we connected with them?