• Is Seeing Believing?  Check out the McGurk Effect Experiment

    Is Seeing Believing? Check out the McGurk Effect Experiment

    Posted 23/01/2013 By in RESILIENCE With | No Comments

    Is Seeing Believing?


    I think not.  I know that you cannot believe everything you see and that further, this is an important principle to understand and apply in developing one’s resilience.  In my resilience workshop I demonstrate the difference between perception and reality and in doing so, empower the individual to choose a different perception that leads to a more positive behaviour or outcome.

    For instance the reality is that I was hit by a car.  One perception could be that it’s the end of my life and woe is me.  Another perception could be… thank god it wasn’t a bus!  Or, this was a timely reminder that life is precious and I use it to live a fuller, richer life NOW.

    That’s a light hearted way of unpacking the concept.  Another is happening to me as we speak.  Recent events have stripped my client base and I’m very, very quiet.  Reality is that the current changes that have affected me actually have very little to do with me at all.  What I do have control over  (should I chose to exert that control) is how I perceive, process and respond to these events.  Resilient people are better able to choose healthier, more adaptive responses to adverse events (seems I need a dose of my own medicine).

    So our perception, while not being real, certainly feel real enough doesn’t it?  It’s hard to shift a well worn belief or style of thinking with just one attempt.  It takes practice and repetition.  And more repetition.  What I love is the endless possibilities that unfold once we choose a healthier way to perceive events and situations.  So why does it feel so real?  So real in fact that people respond automatically to their perceptions, sometimes to their own detriment.  The answer lies in our brain.  In any given day it is responsible for fielding, coding and responding to a ton of stimuli.  Just think about all the things you see, sounds you hear, stuff you touch, smell or taste in a given day…. and that’s just a fraction of what its got on it’s plate!!  As a result your brain is very good at making shortcuts.  Looking for patterns (often when they don’t exist at all) and making sense of the world.  Your perceptions are also coloured by your experiences, not just the physiology of your brain.

    I’ve actually read (I need to find the reference) that our visual acuity (what we can see clearly) is a small penny sized dot right in the middle of our visual field and that the rest of the information we THINK we see, is made up of stored memories and your brain saying (that looks like a tree, there are trees in this area, I’ll show that as a tree).  So it begs the question…. is what we think we are seeing really real?  This experiment challenges that assumption and demonstrates quite clearly that you should not trust everything you think.

    Please help me to spread the word by sharing.

      Sean is an experienced coach, speaker and facilitator who is passionate about improving the relationship between people, their work and the organisations they work for. If you want to get the most out of your managers, supervisors and their teams and think that work can or should be a rewarding and enjoyable component of a productive and meaningful life it might be worth a chat.

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