Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Perception and Motivation

We interrupt this Operating Room Observation Paper to bring you a breaking random thought from the mental apparatus of the author:

Theory - Attention span is directly proportional to felt need to know.

Furthermore, felt need to know is directly affected by perceived opportunity to learn.

I.E. higher stakes increase attention span. Limited opportunity with high stakes for learning increases attention span even more.

Parallel concept = application. A person applies herself more when stakes are perceptibly high and opportunity is perceptibly limited.

To increase attention span or application, one must increase not the stakes, but the perception of them and limit not the opportunity, but the perception of opportunity.

For many human beings, this necessitates an increase and limitation in actuality because the human being in question senses a bluff quite readily. Our perceptions of reality are remarkably accurate when it comes to quantifiable, observable, measurable phenomena. We are all more or less empiricists.

But the closer a thing comes to uncertainty, the more unsure, insecure a person's perception of the thing - the farther perception is removed from actuality - the less must one manipulate the physical to increase perceived stakes and decrease perceived opportunity. What one must manipulate is merely perception.

As distance between direct observation and perception increases, perception depends more on reports, words, nonquantifiables. Consequently, perception may be changed by suggestion, report, and nonquantifiables.

Threaten to withhold (or offer to give) a thing reported to a man by all to be of extreme value, and he may achieve the impossible - even if the object in question would not be in actuality withheld or were in its essence worthless.

On the other hand, if a man perceives a priceless possession to be secure or of little value, he may fail to lift his little finger if it is jeopardized.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming....

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