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Is what you see, all there is? How our perception influences our wellbeing

Psychologists use a term called naïve realism which describes the human tendency to believe that we see the world objectively, without bias. This means, that we believe that what we see, is the way it is, and that all “well-adjusted” people, will see the world that same way. In fact, we also believe that if others do not, that they must be ill informed, biased, or irrational!


What we do not appreciate, is that what we each see, is not the way it is. We don’t see reality. We do not experience the world as it is, because our brain didn’t evolve to do so. What we see, is our mind’s interpretation of the world. And we all interpret it differently, because of our psychological differences. This means that no two people will ever see or experience the world in the same way. Remarkable, isn’t it? 


And perhaps a little bit concerning too?


If our tendency is to believe that everyone sees the world the same way we do, are we missing the opportunity to embrace our psychological diversity? Consider the impact on our personal and professional lives, if we make assumptions that the people around us, are the same as we are. And what about our workplaces? Consider what is happening in organisations, if we are all making this assumption.

Our interpretation is influenced by the narratives we create / the stories we tell ourselves. And these are subject to distorted thinking and biases.


Psychological science tells us that our interpretation of the world influences our wellbeing. So, if we can come to know the world more accurately (independent of our perception of it), we can experience better wellbeing because we are less likely to engage in distorted thinking and biases.





At MYNDLY we use psychological science to build wellbeing, for performance. We provide evidence based solutions for individuals and organisations.

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