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How do you perceive your world? October 23, 2009

Posted by jassnight in Uncategorized.
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From which lens do you see from?

From which lens do you see from?

In my last blog entry, I touched a bit on life-perception and influence. Today, I thought I would go into greater depth on this topic.

Without going into a full lecture of meta-theoretical perspectives and the paradigms involving epistemology (the way people learn) and axiology (the way people perceive their world,) let me just state that people will perceive their reality through two possible lenses.  These lenses are either interpretivism or behaviorism and there is a big difference between the two. Behaviorists believe that their world perception and learning is determined by a slow progression of awareness of a pre-determined existence – objective awareness.  It is the well-known Forrest Gump paradox: “Life is a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get.” Interpretivists believe that their life perception is shaped by previous experience and influentials (such as parents, peers, teachers, and religious leaders.) They “interpret” their existence through these parameters – subjective awareness.

The argument is this; is there only one, external reality that can only become aware to us by growth in perception (Behaviorist viewpoint)? Or, are there multiple realities that are conceived internally through individual interpretation of external events and connections (Interpretivists).

There are arguments for both of course, but think about this. If we were all destined to believe that there is only one reality, wouldn’t we all be voting for the same candidate in an election? Wouldn’t we like all the same foods? Wouldn’t we all drive the same cars?

While I was a student during my last degree work, I was on a research team. One of our discussions centered around which type of research tool to use to capture information. Being an interpretivist, I argued that a qualitative tool would best serve our needs. My colleague, a behaviorist, saw a quantitative tool as being more effective.  One day I finally said to him, “just the fact that we have two different viewpoints about this subject suggests that reality is subjective and not objective.” He had no choice but to agree with that statement.

How do you perceive your world?