A Lesson in Perception

In conversation with a colleague yesterday we spoke about the challenges associated with interpretation and perception in the context of hearing and recording information, and how differently the same piece of information can be perceived.

As part of a seminar recently run by this colleague participants were instructed to record the seminar leader’s answers to a questionnaire by selecting the relevant tick box in a document on their laptops. Each question had a multiple of 4 possible answers. They were asked to select the box according to the verbal answer provided.

The purpose of the exercise was for the participants to become familiar with the use of the questionnaire in preparation for a live situation. The learning was quite different. As my colleague walked around the room, he observed that sometimes participants were selecting boxes other than the box relating to the answer he had just provided. So at the end of the exercise the questionnaire outcome were not consistent among the participants.

Why was the recording not consistent, a result of misapprehension, misinterpretation?

During the conversation a post from Paul Harvey’s – Yoga Sūtra Freenotes relating to perception came to mind:

“Past tendencies also determine the mind’s direction and quality of perception.”
– T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to Yoga Sūtra C1 v4

And today this morning’s post:
“Even when our understanding is consistent with our perception or related experience, it does not necessarily indicate a fact.”
– T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to Yoga Sūtra C1 v8

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