How we generate information about the world is
When new information is compatible with your
knowledge structures it is accepted, when it does not mesh with your
pre-conceived ideas or past experience it receives little consideration, is
distorted or ignored.2
So, if you wish your message to hit the target,
make adjustment to the wind.
Business Is All About
marketing, etc. – is all about perceptions. The essence of
leading, managing, marketing and selling is coming to grips with people's
How To Make Great Presentations
"Perception is all there is..." writes Tom
Peters.5 "There is only one perceived reality, the way each of us
chooses to perceive a communication, the value of a service, the value of a
particular product feature, the quality of a product."
Most of your judgments result from decisional
shortcuts you use to generate solutions that are good enough most of the
time. When you perceive a situation that looks familiar to you, doesn't your
past experience cause you to see the event in terms of what you expect?
Doesn't your limited span of attention lead you to categorize things by
aspects that appear similar to what you already know?
"We are constantly bombarded with so much
sensory information that it is impossible for us to pay attention to
everything. Our subconscious mind scans our environment and selects what it
deems may be important for us to notice. Even then, people not only see
things the way they are, they also tend to see what they expect to see, as
well as what they want to see."3 "Much of human perception is
based not on information flowing into the brain from the outside world but
what the brain, based on previous experience, expects to happen next,” says
Sandra Blakeslee, an award-winning science writer for the New York Times.
Connecting with Senses
People have three basic methods of perceiving
the world around them:
different preferred ways of thinking and communicating their experiences
– some express themselves in pictures, others talk about how things sound to
them, and others speak about how things feel. If you want to connect with
your target customers, you have to
figure out which sense they
Case in Point
Young Women or Old Woman?
This example is often used by educators when
they talk about
selective perceptions. Take a look at the
Figure 1 of a woman. How would you describe her? Is she young or old?
Pretty or unattractive? Rich or poor? You must have classified her as young,
pretty, and wealthy. Now look at the
Figure 2. Have you change your mind? Unlikely. You still see a young,
pretty, and wealthy woman. And what if I tell you that she is old,
unattractive and poor? You won't believe me.
However, people who are initially shown the
Figure 3 and then are asked to describe the woman in
Figure 2 almost always say she is old, unattractive, and poor, i.e. they
see the opposite of what others see in the very same picture. "When shown
either the relatively unambiguous picture of the young or old woman first
(Figure 1 and 3) and than the composite picture (Figure 2), selective
perception has been triggered. Exposure to either picture draws our
attention to seek out thinking processes willingly oblige by conforming that
the second picture lives up to our expectations."3