The Impact of Sense Perception Through Selective Attention on Human Behaviour and Decision-making


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There is no doubt that our ways of knowing are driven from the society we associate with. Therefore, it can justify our morals, understanding and distinguishing between what is correct and what is wrong. This essay will address how human behaviour and decision making are often implemented from selective attention, making connections to concepts from the study of empiricism and moral relativism. This will test the reliability of our five distinct senses, self-awareness and exploration. Moreover, I will be discussing my knowledge question. How might sense perception through selective attention influence human behaviour and decision-making?

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Defining empiricism and relativism can be challenging. It is often approached as two contradictory ideas, yet in some situations, it can conspire with one another. Empiricism is acquiring knowledge through anything that can be experienced, which are more reliant upon senses. Whereas, being a moral relativist is simply making judgements and assumptions from one point of view, based on the fact that there isn’t a general principle that is “set” and “obeyed”. People in this selective viewpoint make decisions based on their beliefs and what they think is the truth, again this is heavily influenced by the way one was brought up and their social interactions. In a sense, it is how people support and stand by their social expectations, except in more of a cultural and ethical context. Interpretations of reality can be misleading, which is why people tend to act out, making immoral and violating choices. The reason is that a lot of people prioritise one sense more than others, senses that are more attentive to that particular subject, focusing on gathering that particular information to gain a directed judgment on it. But I believe that senses operate properly together, sending logical information to our brains.

I think that neglecting some senses is the reason why we all think differently and make unusual decisions. In a way, understanding a sense requires having knowledge in the other senses. This suggests that memories have a massive influence on our lifestyles. We start associating our interactions with senses in the past, giving it a purpose and belonging. Thus, when we think about our favourite sport, we recall experiences which explore how our senses were practised. I can say that I love playing basketball because I can give evidence of how senses gave me an emotional attachment to the sport, such as, I remember the thrill it gave me dribbling down the court, the hardship I saw in people’s faces, the sound of the ball going through the net, the sound of people cheering, the texture of the ball when gripping onto it, the smell of the gym, etc. However, most of them are details I recognise when I look back into my memories because, during games, I rely on three main senses, which are, hearing, sight and touch. It’s how I tend to categorise skills, that I’ve enhanced on from my experiences through repetition. Skills like hand and eye coordination, visual cues on depth perception, sense of direction, ball handling and how it is essential for muscle memory. As we learn to adapt to our senses, it becomes more of an instinct rather than a controlled process. Without being able to identify those aspects of senses, coming to terms with knowing that I love playing basketball wouldn’t cross my mind, and again I wouldn’t be able to figure out my true identity. This supports the concept of empiricism and how it affects my decisions regarding my interests.

To further develop the idea of selective attention, I need to make connections to the various traits of ways of knowing and how it can manipulate obtained knowledge. When going into this cognitive process, we ignore certain sensory inputs which set a barrier on certain areas of knowledge. Rather than focusing on the overall context of something, people only concentrate on a particular subject matter, ignoring the “pointless” activities occurring around the subject. There are many positives as well as negatives when it comes to understanding our surroundings, depending on the type of setting. This tool is effective in the product marketing areas of consumerism, where companies have recognised how to attract their target audiences emotionally, through sensory perception. They have some insight on what consumers will find more appealing and whether it will show sentimental value to some. Having the tendency to favour aspects of reality is acceptable, as long as the company sells the products.

Generally, for some companies, the truth doesn’t really matter, they will tell people what they want to hear so that they find the product beneficial. This then questions the reliability of our senses, whether we can trust it and can it recognise false information. The audiences engaged in brand cues through the five traditional senses, which is applied in media and ways of communication. In a lot of films, we tend to follow along with the main characters and their actions but when we are paying close attention to those features of the film, we don’t realise the things happening in the background. Which are often more important because it can reveal hidden messages and invokes questions on the overall theme of the story. The use of language is very important when communicating with others, that’s because a lot of time media gives us a sense of direction, what to focus on. Changes in angles and lighting also distract and prevent us from uncovering the truth. It depends on the situation, take a party as an example. Our brains have the ability to focus and enhance our auditory attention, which is why we can focus on our conversations in a very loud environment/setting. This confirms that selective attention is a primary source which is derived from the result of behaviour and decision making.

To conclude, I suppose that the process of undergoing selective attention can directly affect our way of learning, touching on aspects of behaviour and making decisions. We can use terms like empiricism and relativism to help us with understanding the different ways of using our senses. Without senses, it’ll be a lot more complicated to make sense of our environment and why things appear to be the way they are represented. Also, we need to understand that we all have our views and opinions will differ depending on where we come from, something that we grew up accepting can be something forbidden and extremely offensive to others. I presume that selective attention is very useful in some areas but in other instances, it disguises the “truth” and restricts us from using all of our senses to our advantage, providing us with inadequate signals and information.

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