Communication happens everyday, every time. Whether or not you are surrounded by people, you are an active participant in the communication process. The whole process plays an essential and primordial role in our lives by making and generating meaning out of symbols, signs, and other stimuli from one person to another. In the same way, it is astounding how one single message could be read and interpreted by various people in numerous ways, which can also be a factor of communication gaps and issues.
The key factor between effective and ineffective communication process is what we call perception.?According to the University of Minnesota (55), perception is the process of selecting, organizing, and interpreting information. First and foremost, we receive an overwhelming number of information through conversations and interactions, thus making it impossible to be able to fully process everything. Chapter Two of the book made me realize that perceptions, in the field of communication, can be considered as a sort of a mind framework in a sense that it provides the scope and the limitations of what will be signified by the receiver from the transmitter. Ultimately, this framework of perception is not built innately or naturally, rather it is relative to the experiences and the context of a person therefore varying from every individual.
In the process of selection, perceptions will sort which information will be accepted or not. In technical terms, this is what the chapter calls as the theory of saliency which determines the stimulus that would be more appealing to us based on our orientation. The second step involves the organization of information gathered from communicating through the checks and balances of similarities and differences of data. Again, our perception would be a huge factor in this process due to the fact that the areas of correlation between elements would be gain determined by one’s outlook. Lastly, information is then interpreted.
The interesting thing here that is taken into consideration is the theory of schemata which are considered to be lenses we use to make sense out of all the data we know. In political science, this concept is similar because in making an analysis, you could have different outcomes depending on which lens or framework you use. In relation to communication, this schema is then the reason why one message could mean differently for two people—it is because they are processing information through some different schemata.?The TED Talk offers practical and real-life applications of these technical theories. It delves deeper on the fact that there exist different ways of knowing, thus different perceptions.
Seeing things from different vantage points allows the creation of different types of knowing and of understanding. The major takeaway I had from Daniel Tammet is that our personal perceptions are at the heart of how we acquire knowledge. With that in mind, the limits of our perceptions are the limits of our world.?In a world full of close-mindedness, we should learn how to see the world with a fresh pair of eyes, thus fresh perceptions. We should not be confined within the parameters of a fixed set of framework. On the contrary, as time goes by, we should enlarge our perception regarding different topics so that we could be more effective communicators in the future.