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Monique Whiteing
English 1010
Professor McKeever
Word Count: 687
The Truth behind Perception
It is the difference between reality and perception that will make a person look at life and
laugh breathlessly. What do the people who laugh know that the people who arent laughing
dont? Perhaps they know that Life is a comedy to those who think and a tragedy to those who
feel. Unfortunately, not knowing the difference between reality and perception will potentially
lay a path toward confusion and stress. Therefore, by applying the theory of Reciprocal
Determinism, and thinking more objectively rather than subjectively, might help to make the
distinction between reality and perception, which has the potential to yield a happier person.
Albert Bandura, a Social Cognitive Theorist, developed Reciprocal Determinism and he
is known for his approach to explaining how perception is affected by cognitive, behavioral, and
environmental factors; thoughts lead to actions and actions lead to behavior which leads to a
desire for a certain environment that makes an individual their happiest (Bandura 329).
However, it is also common to allow religious, cultural and moral beliefs to influence someones
personal perspective. These biases can hinder effective and objective decision making and
produce negative emotions in individuals, making life a tragedy. Religious and cultural beliefs
are often considered subjective, which might lead to an unhappy and suppressed society; for
example, cultures where women are frequently restricted from getting an education, tend to

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desire more out of life. In 2012 a young girl from Pakistan was nearly killed after receiving death
threats for advocating for the rights of girls to have an education. After surviving this tragic
experience, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. During her acceptance speech she said,
I am many() I am those 66 million girls who are deprived of education- and who
want more out of life than cooking and raising children. I had two options: one was to be
killed and the second was to speak up and be killed. I chose the second one: I decided to
speak up.(Guardian)
Thinking more objectively rather than subjectively has helped Malala be courageous in her
continued struggle to fight for education.
Objectivity, however, is not an absolute deterrent from lifes tests and trials. Its more of a
cushion at best. The right perspective develops after a conscious effort has been made to null out
any potential to default to behavior based on feelings. This means taking a situation at face value,
examining facts, organizing proofs and measurable results; thinking analytically about a situation
rather than emotionally. Behavior is the outward portrayal of perception. Seeing things for how
they really are, reality, helps to base choices on more than random acts of faith.
Subjectivity, often an emotional outlook, feeds off of ideas that are usually created in the
mind by illogical reasoning that has been developed over time. The knowledge that is gained is
derived from observing other people, past experiences, emotions, and how the world is viewed.
Unreliable sources lead to opinions, interpretations and assumptions of personal biases appearing
real. Feelings, beliefs, and desires become situational and are constantly being reshaped to adapt
to what will serve as justification for complete rationale. Imitating the actions of others might
produce added value through measurable results, or consequentially, take something away. If

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imitation takes value away, it is likely that feelings were more involved than fact-based analysis;
and basing beliefs on only emotions can often lead to a confused and stressed individual.
Life is a duty cycle that repeats itself over and over again. Behavior can become like an
unconscious echo unless a sense of self-awareness is built and emotions are controlled. Its a
shame that we cant capture ourselves in real time and watch it at the end of each day.
Understanding perspective all comes down to understanding where perception comes from and
processing information more objectively than subjectively.

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Bandura, Albert. Self-efficacy: The Exercise of Control. Social Foundations of Thought and
Action a Social Cognitive Theory. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1986. Print.

Topping, Alexandra. Malala Yousafzai accepts Nobel Peace Prize with

attack on arms spending. The Guardian. Guardian News and Media
Unlimited, 10 December 2014.Web.31 August 2015