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3.1: Introduction to Perception and Communication

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    The Vignette: Making Assumptions

    Imagine that you've sign up for a dating app at the recommendation of your best friend. You are excited to meet like-minded individuals, whom you hope to start a romantic relationship with. After scrolling through multiple “matches,” you land on someone who catches your eye. You notice their profile picture was taken at the beach, which you also love. You notice the career they list is one that has a six-digit income. From your perspective, the location they list is in a highly desirable area—and their hobbies and interests (for example, skiing, sailing, and international travel) require access to cash and free time.

    White binary code on a computer screen, with a red heart superimposed
    Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\): Binary Heart by Alexander Sinn on Unsplash

    Reflection Questions

    We make assumptions about people we have never met every day. Since we will not have the opportunity to get to know most of these individuals, we will never find out if our assumptions are accurate. There are many factors that go into how we interpret the world and the people we encounter. In this chapter, we will discuss the process of how we form perceptions, the factors that influence our perceptions, and how we can challenge ourselves to question our first impressions of others.

    None of us enjoy it when others make assumptions about us, simply based on appearance—yet we are hardwired to be efficient in our lives, which sometimes involves taking shortcuts and making educated guesses about new people and situations. As you read through the chapter, we hope that you will take notice of factors in your own life that affect how you perceive others. Furthermore, we encourage you to engage in a process of perception checking, or questioning your assumptions of others, on a regular basis.

    This page titled 3.1: Introduction to Perception and Communication is shared under a CC BY 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Hilary Altman & Alex Mata (ASCCC Open Educational Resources Initiative (OERI)) .