How Our Perceptions Are Formed

Ever wonder how our perceptions are formed?


White * Black * Mexican * Muslim * Christian * Democrat * Republican * Rich * Poor * Homeless * Salesperson * Politician * Preacher * Hooker * Men * Women * Elderly * Teenager * Baby

Chances are you have a perception regarding at least a couple of those labels.  How did that happen?  The answer to how our perceptions are formed lies within the coming together of two elements.

The first element in understanding how our perceptions are formed is an Experience.  Our parents get a divorce.  We go to our first school dance.  We go to college.  We don’t go to college.  We start a business.  We fail a business.  We get promoted.  We get married.

Life’s significant experiences are filled with emotions and thoughts that play a big role in how our perceptions are formed, but it’s only half of the equation.

The second element in the union of perceptions is our information.  We are told that marriage is good, or we are told that it is bad.  We are informed how to look at rich people, homeless people, preachers, and hookers.

Information surrounds us.  In fact, we live in the information age.  Unfortunately, a lot of that information came out of the back side of a horse.

Bad experience and bad information results in faulty perceptions. Faulty perceptions will then lead to misdirection and disconnection. – -JeremyRegardless of whether it is good or bad though, our information is what we use to process our experiences and form our perceptions.  Sometimes we have bad experiences with good information.  Sometimes we have good experiences with bad information.  Other times, it’s entirely one or the other.

Better experiences and better information result in proper perceptions. Proper perceptions will then lead to direction and connection. – -Jeremy

Here’s the bottom line regarding how our perceptions are formed.

Bad experience and bad information results in faulty perceptions.  Faulty perceptions will then lead to misdirection and disconnection.  We take wrong paths in live and avoid the relationships that would be healthy and beneficial.

On the other hand…  Better experiences and better information results in proper perceptions.  Proper perceptions will then lead to direction and connection.  We’ll put things in the proper perspective and make the right choices and create healthy connections with the people in our lives.

Here are two ways we can improve on how are perceptions are formed.

  1. Don’t be afraid to re-experience things that matter.
  2. Seek out new information from reliable sources.

If your first business endeavor didn’t work, don’t be afraid to try it again if it is in your heart to do so.  Get better information this time, but don’t be afraid to re-experience the things that matter to you.

Find voices of wisdom.  We often times spend most of our time with people who are the same age and have the same information that we do.  Expand your education.  Spend time with people who have been around longer than you and listen to what they have to say.  Find leaders, books, and organizations that have or are doing what you want and listen to them.

Understanding how our perceptions are formed gives us power to reform our perceptions.  If we can change our perceptions, we can change our world.

How have you changed your perceptions?  Are there other methods of improving or replacing bad perceptions?

perception series
View all four articles in the perceptions series here. If you have found them to be helpful, share them with a friend. Perception Series

About the Author

Jeremy BinnsWhen I'm not trying to save the world from the coming zombie invasion, I love my wife, hug my daughters, write, photograph, listen, observe, explore, and worship.View all posts by Jeremy Binns →

  • Kumadey Churchill

    Optical illusions are a great phenomenon for us to learn and know what we see and tend to believe is not always what we get. How possible could a four wheeler be passing you by and it’s wheels spinning I reverse direction? If you are shown only the wheels without the car you would argue it’s moving in the opposite direction.

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

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