Perception is our comprehension and interpretation of what we sense with eye, ear, taste smell and touch.
The interpretation is a key paramter in understanding perception, as what we see, hear, taste, smell and touch is all processed through a filter that is modelled by our assumptions. When we see, taste and touch an orange we know it is an orange because we have learnt that it looks a certain way and taste a certain way. We have a name and a language for it, and you might say that it can’t be anything but an orange. What happens is, that we sometimes apply the same simplified conclusions to other contexts where it is not right.
For example when we meet a person we don’t already know. With lightning speed we “decode” that person based on looks, what they say and how they say it. Maybe they have a scent of something we like or dislike. All these impressions are processed by us in seconds and we interpret based on the assumptions we carry with us. This what is often refered to as the “first hand impression”. We create a “frame” for that person in order to better comprehend him or her.
That frame is our perception working. We tell ourselves how this person ”is” based on what we see and hear. And that can lead us to making distorted versions of reality that can lead to conflict, but also develop blind spots so we miss out on opportunity. Our brain is constantly at work, making predicitons for the most likely events based on our past. In this process our perception and way of meeting experiences is also developed, based on assumptions about what will happen. You can think of it as perception becoming a self-fulfiling profecy if we are not of this happening and are able to mentally step out of it.
That is why understanding perception and being able to control it is an important step in personal development. If you can’t detach yourself from the perception process and maybe even shift it, you are not mastering your perception. And just as you experience your version of what you perceive is the RIGHT one, another person right next to you will percieve and assume something completely different about the same person or event and think he or she has the RIGHT perception.