“We do not passively detect information in the world and then react to it — we construct perceptions of the world as the architects of our own experience.”
Researchers on affective realism are arriving at a consensus that, at any given moment, emotional state influences perception of information received through sensory channels, with the exception of smell which has it’s own channel.
These early findings have broad, real-world implications that extend from everyday social interactions, to situations with more severe consequences such as:
- When judges or jury members have to evaluate whether a defendant is remorseful;
- During police time-sensitive judgment to discharge a firearm in environmentally negative conditions; or
- When front line employees are making judgments about people they don’t know, who are presenting documents for access to critical infrastructure, to board airplanes, and in other similar circumstances.
Being competent at interpreting what is behind the curtain in the behaviour of others is complicated. There is no absolute. There are many factors to consider and to scientifically research, which will undoubtedly lead to new discoveries.