Which comes first: Processing or Perception

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Courtesy to Google Images

When you talk about your mother or father, do you honestly, being truly unbiased, evaluate your parents personalities? You must be thinking ‘yes’ and you might be truly evaluating your parents! Almost everybody evaluates truly and mostly love their parents based on their true evaluations. So it means all parents are perfect, loving, adorable and charming from every angle. NO. This is not true. We love our parents’ personalities because we love them first. We hardly see their negative personality traits or we do not wish to see those negative traits or we think those negative traits are positive indeed! In each aspect, first, we fall in love with them then start evaluating if we have to.  Nevertheless, most, among us never dare to evaluate their parents’ behavior- never ever. Everybody seems to love the parents whatever their personality types are. We are used to them as they are. We love to see them as they are. We are used to take whatever they cook and we love/prefer that food in that particular taste. We think that taste is great; however that taste is not great itself. We have just been accustomed to it since long.

The same is true with our kids. We love them so much that we could not find negativity in them. It is really a hard work to point out negative traits in our kids. Rather we unconsciously try to find positive personality traits among them. We love them so much that we try to prove our love is true and based on true facts. We are not ready to listen against our kids from someone else. We first love our kids then evaluate their personalities accordingly. In other words, we first make our mind for our kids that they are, loving, beautiful, sweet and innocent then try to figure out other traits. We would rarely believe that our kids are not, what we think they are. Though each of us thinks that he or she is very honest and true in evaluating their kids’ personalities but, in fact it is not the case. If it were true, then in this world, all children would carry positive traits. In short, we, being parents, fall in love with our kids and keep on proving our love for them unconsciously.

The same is true to all our first impressions, first-time beliefs, and first imprints on our brain for whatever we see, analyze or perceive. First we love or hate and then we start proving our feeling. First we make our mind, and then we start evaluating. First we make friends, then, we convince ourselves and others that they are of good nature and with great human traits. It is not the other way round. We unconsciously remain stick to our likeness/dislikeness and try to convince others that it is based on true evaluation. In fact, it is never proved scientifically.

You go to watch a movie where the cinema hall is fully booked. You see people talking about the same movie with different arguments, comments, and reflections. Some would like to criticize the story, some would describe characters (acting) more, some would appreciate background effect, some would talk about songs beauty, some would even discuss the scenes, some would love/hate the photography, some would be more interested in romantic stuff of that movie; and some would argue about the end or start of the story. So the thousand different minds would interpret the same item in thousand different ways. The movie would remain the same; however the perception of that movie would differ from mind to mind. Now in place of movie, you think you are there as a person. Can you imagine in how many ways, people would like to interpret your personality? You can well imagine that. Whom would you believe first? And what should you believe?

We usually believe the opinion of the person closer to us in blood relations then go for others. The closer the relationship is, the more likely we are going to believe him or her. Here again first we decide whom opinion matters to us, then, we listen to the opinion. It is not the other way round. We do not analyze the opinions of others about us in an objective manner. We listen what we want to listen. We see what we want to see. We are quite good at it. For example, a child needs reassurance for her actions, first from her parents, and then from her teachers and others. It is less likely that our parents are satisfied with our actions and we are looking forward to others for the approval. However, it might happen in rare circumstances (will discuss at another time).

Empathy is a good quality. It means to understand the other person’s feelings from within his frame of reference. However, it rarely happens. We usually help others in the matters we think they would need help while mirroring ourselves first. First we assume what we like or dislike and based on it, decide what others would like and dislike. In other words, we are empathetic only for those traits we are convinced to be empathetic for, not in all matters of life objectively. We value and realize others those ‘problems’ we consider ‘problems’ for ourselves. Our empathy is not for everyone; rather it is only for those whom we love/relate first. We do not feel empathetic for everyone standing outside anonymously. It is especially true when we judge our empathetic self for our rivals. We are no more empathetic for the people we dislike first! Though in rare cases, we can be quite selfless till the level of real empathy (a topic not to discuss here).

To conclude, we perceive, love, hate, or make some belief about someone we meet for the first time in life. Then we react, analyze, evaluate, and behave accordingly. Then we keep on proving our first impression unconsciously and secretly. In addition to that, it is too deep rooted to change the first conceptual image of the other person whether it is your mother, father, friend, or even your own self- image. We are simply not in the position of changing our first conceptual blueprints on our brains. Though, we can change its density in terms of valence, usability, and effectiveness. We can ignore it till the level we forget it; however, it is next to impossible to impartially evaluate it in its true sense. In short, we cannot examine our brains objectively while keeping our emotions along with/inside. We have to perceive first, see first, listen first, and then process the information. We have to realize, touch and feel first and then try to communicate/evaluate. Like a PC that downloads the software first and then start acting on it, we are bound to feel first and then think about!

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