Wednesday, 30 August 2017

What shapes our thinking?

I came across 2 New Scientist articles today that both talked about perception in different ways.

The first was discussing how the types of images of people we viewed affected what we saw as desirable, though of course the title had to be worded as click-bait instead of offering a balanced view.

The second, and this one triggered me wanting to post this, discussed creating a video game based around entering the world of someone with psychosis. (note - first image is disturbing) it was a quote in the article from psychiatrist Paul Fletcher that made me want to post:

“Someone — I’ve never been able to find out who — said that perception is controlled hallucination. This is true. You bring what you know to bear on what you sense. That is how we recognise things.”

To flip that on its head, a sales person I once worked with described perception as reality when it came to dealing with customers. If the customer thought something defective wasn't "that bad" then they'd live with it, or if they though it was broken even when it wasn't bad at all then they would complain & reject things. This can also be quite malleable, as I once found out when - as part of a joke - they told a customer whose instrument I was servicing, that I was breaking it. Ever after I was 'unwelcome' in their lab, despite having a good track record there, and soon after someone else had to go in to service it.

In a way we are talking about faith & expectation, and how we view the world: you bring what you know to be true to bear on what you sense.

I can feel there's a long article sitting there about what we tell ourselves about the world, what we take onboard to feed our senses and perceptions, how we calibrate our internal compass to know what's real and what is not etc. etc. I don't want to go there, but as a Christian struggling to come to terms with things that have caused a major re-alignment of internal compasses, I want to be able to carefully pick a path that doesn't lead to the edge of a cliff or a large pit - to mix metaphors again.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Play nice - I will delete anything I don't want associated with this blog and I will delete anonymous comments.