Unintentional Perception Bias….
Now the real question is are you perceptually biased or are you just plain blind? I’m going to tell you a scenario which can help you figure it all out. You know how when you walking through a crowd or in place you’ve never been before then you hear someone call your name and you can’t find them even when they are right in front of you? What about that time when you were looking for something that was right in front of you but you couldn’t seem to find it? Sometimes people would tease you and tell you that you’re blind. Well, they are not wrong not are right. I wouldn’t call it a condition, but it is the way our brain function. It is called perception biased.
As Jeff Johnson stated in his book “Designing with the Mind in Mind: Simple Guide to Understanding User Interface Design Guidelines,” our mind creates mental frames which we use and rely on to see things that we have seen before. You know how your browser collects cookies (No not the one you eat! I’m talking about data) and cache and save it in your computer? Then later on when you try to upload that same site, it uploads faster. Well this concept is similar to our brain. Let’s take this example; have you ever had to do a puzzle where there is a hidden image? At first it is hard to see the image, but when you do final formalize the image, it is hard to image or see another image. This is because our minds have already created that “perceptual pattern” as refers to it. It is basically a stored memory or recollection.
Our brain has the ability to do that for us, this makes us navigate better. One thing I found very interesting that Johnson mention is the fact that “Our perception of the world around us is not a true depiction of what is actually there. Our perceptions are heavily biased by at least three factors: The past (our experience), the present (the current context) and the future (our goals). Understand that this doesn’t only affect our visual perception; it can also affect our comprehension. For instance, when you hear a joke so many times, as your hear it more, it has less effect on you. You start to laugh less and less until the joke seems dull to you. Do you think it’s because the joke is no longer funny or is it because your mind already processed and store it already? Or how about when your taste buds start changing, and you stop loving your favorite food! Or when you thought you heard something but heard the wrong thing! Crazy, huh?
I want you to take sometimes and give that some thoughts. When you think about these different factors, do you understand how it really shapes your view? Do you feel different about how you see things now that you know you carry this biased in your mind? Most importantly, are you a person that is able to control these types of biases? If so I’d love to hear your solution. Tell me what you think! Leave a comment and tell me how you can relate?
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