Perception and Attention

Perception is the manner in which the brain translates an experience or object (Galotti, 2014).  When faced with the dilemma of time restraints, an individual may base a decision on their perception of all the possible outcomes.  In the scenario of returning to school, prioritizing is essential to success in education and personal life.  When developing a schedule one must adhere to in order to be successful, he or she may think of all the successes or conflicts that might arise during the schedule times.  These thoughts will ultimately impact the decision of the route of the schedule developed (Galotti, 2014).  In the scenario a piano recital conflicting with a work schedule, the individual took into consideration the possibility of postponing homework and weighed out the results of the potentially low grade.  The individual also thought to call in sick to, but rejected out because the perception of this choice was a negative consequence.  Ultimately, the individual perceived getting up early to complete schoolwork was the best route to take because all goals would be complete.  In each of these examples, the individuals focused on the major and minor details of the scenarios and possible outcomes.  When making a decision, it is possible for an individual to see a possible outcome as the best choice because of illusionary correlations.  In this case, the individual sees an outcome as valid because they have had an experience that created an association with the needed decision.  The illusion of a positive outcome occurs, but in actuality, the association does not exist and the outcome will ultimately be negative (Galotti, 2014).  In the instance of neglecting even a tiny aspect their perceptions, the individuals may have had an entirely different outcome than anticipated.  In the process of making their decisions, the individuals considered all relevant goals as well as possible outcomes.  It is vital to pay close attention to who may be affected, how all people involved will be affected,  and if the decision will cause other decisions to be made (Galotti, 2014).  For instance, If a parent returns to school, he or she needs to consider the affect their decision may have on their family such as less time spent together, the possibility of missing important events, or even having to eat on the run more often.  They would then have to think if the decision will have a more positive or negative effect.  Researchers have found that individuals tend to care more about any loss they may experience rather than the gain (Galotti, 2014).  In the scenario of the piano recital, the individual must be sure they are not making a decision out of confidence.  When individuals make a decision, confidence in the outcome is necessary, however, if the individual becomes over-confident, the possibility of being blinded of important details exists (Galotti,2014), which may cause a chain reaction of inaccurate results ultimately changing the expected outcome.

Galotti, K. M. (2014). Cognitive Psychology: In and Out of the Laboratory, (5th ed.). Retrieved from The University of Phoenix eBook Collection database


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