Nature of logic and perception

Essay by alvinchang March 2005

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Critical thinking is the formation of logical inferences as described by Simon and Kapplan (1989). These inferences help to shape our perception of ourselves and the world around us. Oftentimes the perceptions we formulate are not always an accurate reflection of the real world. There are many external influences that can assist in the distortion of our logical thinking. Gender, personal feelings, ethnicity, culture biases, age, religion, and enculturation are just some of the barriers that impact our views. (Kirby & Goodpaster, 1999) Perception as defined by Webster's dictionary is an awareness of the elements of environment through physical sensation, a capacity for comprehension, and a quick, acute, and intuitive cognition. (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, 2004) Perceptions are our points of view, our beliefs, opinions, and assumptions that we perceive to be true. Lack of awareness of how perception operates can lead us to misunderstand, misjudge other's ideas and behavior, and create negative outcomes.

        Perception is formed around past experiences and available resources. The influences of those around us do effect our perception. We are humans and we can never know all the answers and thus we come to understand that our beliefs are inadvertently based on other people's experiences. Our perceptions about ourselves come from images we have accumulated over time. We also have accumulated images about people around us. These images have their roots in our inner private world of reality that started in childhood. We can each look back and see the modifications, but the fact remains that a private world as an individual is reality. By assuming the statements of the influences to be true can cause a separation of perception and reality. The meaning of reality and perception is often extremely different. Reality is the actuality of things, what is really happening, without interpretation. Perception is...