Critical Thinking and Perception

Essay by mamatiffUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, January 2004

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Critical Thinking and Perception

What is real? Our perception of reality is often a product of the environment in which we live. In general, we

formulate ideas of reality based on our own experiences as well as the experiences of the people around us. Our

lives are influenced constantly by our surroundings. I truly believe that perception is a learned skill and not

instinctive. Outside of our communities, television, radio and movies sculpt our perception of the outside world.

I think most of my thinking at the ordinary level is based on perception, language, and information. At the most

there is one logic step: If this than that. I think most thinking takes place in the perceptual stage. These are the

questions that arise, How much do I take in? and how do I look at things? This perception is based on habits of

perceptions and what I hear, what I read and how I express myself.

I understand that we do not need to use much

explicit logic because we have already built the logic into our language. For example, killing is 'bad' unless justified

by war or self-dense. I know that with decisions I followed what was recommended and what my friends

were doing and then rationalized it with the following rationalization: Everyone does this and the stock rises for a

while and when the market eventually gets a severe correction I rationalize that as well. This rationalization is based

on information--not all-available information but a selection that fits what I was inclined to do anyway.

I think that logic can be used to reinforce perceptions (and prejudices) but logic and argument will not change

perceptions. Perception is more than sensing; it is processing, reacting, and interpreting. Faith Bryne describes

perception as, "detecting the nature of both outer...