Society for personality and social psychology
Perception is an interesting concept that makes people to view the same thing in a different way. The way people perceive the environment can make a lot different from each other. The experiences one has from the past or happening at the present could alter the way people perceive the environment. For example, an individual who has been mugged in a certain street may feel unsafe in the particular area whereas another who has had no incident may feel safe. The mugging incident changed the perception of the victim and as a result they has a different feeling about the environment.
What people believe and ascribe to also contributes a lot to the perception that they may have of the environment. As we all know, no two humans have the same thinking or beliefs. Therefore, one item may be important to a person whereas to another it may be an inconsequential one. For example, religious beliefs may make certain people to believe that animals or places may be sacred. Therefore, they treat that environment with honor and expect that others will also do the same. Another individual may view this item as a normal item thus treating it in a way that could be termed as disrespectful. This situation shows how beliefs can alter ones perception of the environment.
The expectations that people have placed on the environment also play a significant role in the perception people have. Some individuals may place relatively higher expectations which could make them have different thought processes than their peers. This phenomenon can be witnessed in a situation where a person could expect that a certain part of the environment should be clean. Therefore, should they find it to be dirty, they will be disappointed as compared to another person who did not have such expectations.
Cultures around the world are very different. They teach people various things and show them what to value within their environment. For example, some people may disagree with the practice of dumping waste in public places because they value responsibility. Such people may be disturbed when they see individuals throwing waste on the roads without using public bins. On the other hand, those who have not been taught to do the same by their cultures may not have such a view. In addition, in work cultures certain spots are usually seen as viewed as “conducive” for work such as a corner space office or a workstation near the printer. However, a person who does not work within the building may not have the same view as an employee in the organization.
Based on the factors seen above – beliefs and culture, expectations, past experiences – it is evident that perception of the environment can make two people view something in totally different lights. In fact, this situation is usually a root source for some of the conflicts that usually caused people to disagree and engage in unethical contests. Therefore, it is important for individuals to grasp how people can be different.