The Power of Perception

He who has been bitten by a snake fears a piece of string. (Persian proverb)

Recently the power of perception has been a notable point in my brain. I read somewhere that the perception of a thing is what causes our emotional reaction. I thought it was a good point. Then I was reading The Shack and Papa, I think, was asking what made things good; was it the thing itself or our response to it?

Then I was reading a post on how race in America is not so black and white as we thought.

In a series of research studies, Yale social psychologist Richard Eibach has observed the comparable result that White Americans typically perceive more progress towards racial equality than do Blacks. One reason for this racial gulf is that Whites typically answer the type of question found in the Times poll by comparing the present to the past, whereas Blacks tend to answer it by comparing the present to the racial ideals they envision for the future.

In other words, when you ask White Americans about race relations in this country, on average they tend to respond by thinking, well, things are certainly better now than they used to be, so I’ll say we’re doing OK. Blacks, on the other hand, are more likely to think about their personal experiences with prejudice or current racial disparities in important outcomes like health, income, or employment. Accordingly, Blacks more typically think, things still aren’t as good as they could or should be, so we’re not doing so great.

The quote is from Sigmund, Carl and Alfred.

It’s all about perception. How does one go about changing one’s perception?