Sunday, July 4, 2010

Empathy: A Level Of Perception

Perception is a very merry splendid's also very individual. People can view the exact same thing, and end up seeing and interpreting those things differently from one another. Of course, sometimes that's a little hard to swallow because we tend to work under the premise that everyone thinks as we do. What is obvious to us is obvious to others, as well. But sadly, that's generally not the case.

Now, what might this have to do with empathy? Hmm...I wonder. Empathy is about interpretation. It is the observation of subtle nuances and interpretation of emotions, non-verbal communication like body language and microexpressions, voice pitch/hue, linguistics (words chosen when speaking or writing and how they are used). It is the human body's use of all of its senses to interpret another person's moods, situation, issues, and to understand that....through one's own perception filter and point of view.

So when we talk about perception and empathy, these things translate from the same source. Looking at an image, reading a story, reading a poem, listening to music, watching people enact a play, equates to empathizing with another person's emotions and emotional states. This is because the human mind/body uses the same process for many different things. Both of these are effectively a shift in perception to allow one to accommodate the input of new information, through one's mental filter, to be processes and interpreted.

Now an example of this can be seen in something called an optical illusion. There are different kinds, some with words and some with images. Here are a few.

Do you see a face or a word?

How many wolves do you see?

Teach or Learn?

Another example of this can be found in a different kind of game. It's one that plays on the mind's perceptual limitations of left brain vs. right brain. Let's look at a few of those. These are designed to make you think.

How many Fs do you see in the text below?





After you counted the Fs, scroll down...

How many did you count? 3?

Wrong, there were 6. Don't believe it?
Scroll back up and check. Or scroll down
for the solution...

Our brains are trained to overlook the word OF.

If you saw all 6 Fs right away, you're a genius.

Most people see only 3 Fs. Some people see 4.

Here are some riddles that force you to change your perception to find the correct answer. Scroll down for the answers.

1. If there are five apples, and you take away three, how many do you have?

2. Lee's parents emigrated from China. They have five children. The first four are named La, Le, Li, and Lo. What did they name the fifth?

3. A red house is made from red bricks, a blue house is made from blue bricks, a pink house is made from pink bricks, and a black house is made from black bricks. What is a greenhouse made from?

4. The Spanish Civil War, which began July 17 of 1936, was fought between who?

5. In baseball, how many outs are there in an inning?

6. Do they have a Fourth of July in England?

7. A rancher has 33 head of cattle standing in a field, when suddenly a bolt of lightning kills all but 9 of them. How many head of cattle are left standing?

8. If the hour hand on a clock moves 1/60 of a degree every minute how many degrees will the hand move in one hour?

9. Due to a birth defect, a boy is born with 14 toes, 11 fingers, and 3 thumbs. How many fingernails does the boy have?

10. Some months have 31 days, and some months have 30 days. But how many have 28 days?

11. You're the pilot of an airplane that travels from New York to Chicago - a distance of 800 miles. The plane travels at 200 MPH and makes one stop for 30 minutes. What is the pilot's name?

12. If the Vice President of the United States died, who would be President?

13. John digs a hole that is 2 yards wide, 3 yards long, and 1 yard deep. How many cubic feet of dirt are in it?

14. Two U.S. coins are worth a total of $0.30, and one of them is not a nickel. What are the coins?

Keep going for the answers..........

1. 3
2. Lee
3. Glass
4. Just Spain
5. 3
6. Yes (just not a holiday)
7. 9
8. 60
9. 11
10. 12
11. Your Name
12. The President
13. 0 (no dirt in a hole)
14. A Quarter and a Nickel

Now, all of these might seem like alot of silly games to you. You might have also gotten lost in there somewhere as to the purpose of this blog. But all of those were designed to show you through graphics and words, how you are able to shift your perception. The difference between left and right brain perception is how each part of the brain perceives the world.

Here is a more specific list of how each half of the brain works with perception. On this list, each number corresponds with the same number in the second list. Note the differences of how each part of the brain interprets things, and then try doing the tests again with a conscious shift of perception. Try using an 'over all' point of view to a more 'detail oriented' point of view on the optical illusions. Try the riddles again to see if you can expand your way of thinking beyond the obvious answers.

  1. uses logic
  2. detail oriented
  3. facts rule
  4. words and language
  5. present and past
  6. math and science
  7. can comprehend
  8. knowing
  9. acknowledges
  10. order/pattern perception
  11. knows object name
  12. reality based
  13. forms strategies
  14. practical
  15. safe

  1. uses feeling
  2. "big picture" oriented
  3. imagination rules
  4. symbols and images
  5. present and future
  6. philosophy & religion
  7. can "get it" (i.e. meaning)
  8. believes
  9. appreciates
  10. spatial perception
  11. knows object function
  12. fantasy based
  13. presents possibilities
  14. impetuous
  15. risk taking

Empathy In Perception

Empathy in basically the same process, because you are going from an egocentric point of view to that of another person, in order to view, interpret and understand another person's experiences, emotions, and problems. So when we speak about perception and empathy, it is taking the process of perception from a 2 dimensional object like an image or a word and changing the focus to something with a bit more depth like a person. The basic process doesn't change overall, though it might take a longer time to interpret because there is more information to be process.

Think about it. ^_^ (And enjoy the games!)

More On Perception

Here are some interesting websites about perception and perspective.

Testing your perception:

And here are some Videos on Perception:

Perception~ Reality Beyond Matter

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