How To Write Human Perception

Updated: Jun 21

Imagine a child marooned on an island. All memories she has are of her parents. What are the chances are she’d grow up to have low self-esteem? Would she be introverted or extroverted?  

People decide their psychological attributes by summarizing their past. Ask someone if she is introverted or extroverted, she’d scan her past to ascertain if her past actions fit the description of introversion or extroversion. Her conclusion would become her self-perception. What she doesn’t know is that the reason she acted introverted (let’s say) at a certain moment in the past has to do a lot with the situation and much less with her inclinations.

Most think that people have attitudes driving their behaviour when they respond to situations pretty much instinctively or intuitively. Then, they merely adjust their attitudes to explains their actions. Put a child in situations that demand extroversion, such as speech competitions in school. When she grows up, she'd be extroverted because her memories are full of her being extroverted. Put her in situations where she has to lie, cheat or steal. All her memories would be full of her doing evil things. She would have no memory of being righteous. She’d think she’s evil.

To summarize, put people in situations that incentive behaviours you want to see --> keep them busy so they don’t know they are getting played --> as they age, they would build an ego that can explain why they did everything they did. They would keep updating it to make their actions look reasonably consistent. So long their actions and attitudes are not too far from each other, they would stay trapped in their ego.

Back to the marooned child. Since she received no societal indoctrination, she may not develop any particular self-perception. She may not even organize an ego. She may not even remember her name when she gets older. She may even get enlightened because she hasn’t yet eaten the fruit of knowledge. How can she? It belongs to the city of man.

©2020 by Philosophically Inclined