jueves, 30 de octubre de 2008

The Problems of Perception

“Perhaps this will be the moment when we alter our views of decision making. Perhaps this will be the moment when we shift our focus from rational calculation to perception”

Yesterday I read a very interesting article in the New York Times called “The Behavioral Revolution”. It discusses how analysts have mostly focused on how we come to a decision rationally after we:
a) perceive reality
b) think of possible courses of action
c) decide which is the best course of action
d) take action

David Brooks, who is the author of the article, says that experts have mostly concentrated on point c. And then he makes opens the possibility for argument I quoted above. I think it is a wonderful time for us to ponder about perception.

I have been obsessing over perception in the last few months. Why is that people we respect, love and or admire can arrive at such drastically different conclusions from our own? And I mean DRASTICALLY different. I find this happens usually in the arena of politics and economics. My timid self conclusion has been that our different belief systems keep us from similar perception. I will go further, we look for clues in reality that will reinforce what we ALREADY believe. This is, we tend to read, agree with and even solidify our pre-existent point of views. We do not, on the other hand, seek out, analyze or read different opinions and arguments.

In Argentina, reality has been perceived so differently by different people and common sense has flown out of the window long ago so that I have found the need to read perceptions that coincide with my own: just to feel I am not going crazy. But in all honesty, this too is reinforcing my opinion.

But the issue of perception is deeper than that. It means that even though it could be argued that we are looking at the same world, we perceive DIFFERENT worlds. But now, in the XXIst century we are all interconnected so perceiving different realities becomes a real problem. We will never agree on solutions if we see totally different problems.

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