Last night I was listening to some podcasts from Radiolab and one was entitled "What A Slinky Knows". As the conversation goes on we learn that things happen before we know they happen. The slinky in used as the primary example. Now, you must listen to this podcast here, because I will just mess it up for you.
This program got me thinking back to my undergraduate days and a social psychology class on reality. There are many realities, especially in social communication. The underlying principle is the concept of the perceptual screen*.
To sum up we never ever see things as they happen. They always occur before we know it and thus we will always be the bottom of the slinky. Furthermore, our perceptual screen filters information and thus our very intellectual selves are made up of our own individual realities.
I'm giving myself a headache!
*"Perceptual screens are the windows through which we interact with people in the world. The communicator's and the receiver's perceptual screens influence the quality , accuracy, and clarity of the message. The screen influences whether the message sent and the message received are the same or whether distortion occurs in the message. Perceptual screens are composed of the personal factors each person brings to interpersonal communication, such as age, gender, values, beliefs, past experiences, cultural influences, and individual needs." http://langingi.blogspot.com/2006/12/communication.html
[Blogger's note: I corrected some misspelled words in this definition]