One of the most unique characteristics of a human being is our ability to make meaning of any and all kinds of situations. We select, organize and interpret just about everything. This process is called perception. The interesting part of the concept is that every individual perceives things completely different from one another. Based on our culture and self-indication, we select to perceive what we want to perceive. Next, we organize the perception based on stereotypes, scripts, prototypes and personal constructs. Finally, we interpret the perception by looking at attributions. Many things have an influence on how a certain person perceives a situation, like age and social roles for example. To get a better understanding of the point of others, we also strive to expand the boundaries of our understandings. This information made me think about my own perceptions of situations and why I think the way that I do.
My perception of certain situations has changed completely from when I was a child to now, but other perceptions have not changed at all. Being a student in elementary school through high school, my perception of the concept of school was of being boring and living a prison-like lifestyle for the 7 hour day. Nowadays I think of school as still somewhat boring, but I have learned to appreciate and apply what I learn so I can become successful in life. Age had a definite influence on my perceptions, like many others such as girls, cars and sports. Even though I still have stereotypes of certain people, they have changed over time as well. I always thought of football players as being big dumb jocks because that is how they were shown in the television shows and cartoons I watched. When I actually started playing football, I thought of football players as iron men and work horses. Another change over time was personal constructs that I had placed on people. Certain people in school who did poorly on tests and always seemed to be off somewhere else I percieved as being dumb or stupid.