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zander101's avatar

Can you tell if a person thoughts are a conditioned reflection of mainstream perception or an authentic aspect of their personality/character?

Asked by zander101 (571 points ) March 12th, 2014

Masks are a given in society, whether in the corporate environment or even something as intimate as a personal relationship. What do you think?

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17 Answers

bolwerk's avatar

I think it’s something hipsters must be very concerned about. Can’t it be a little bit of both? ‘Cause, at best, even “authenticity” still usually requires building on what came before.

Cruiser's avatar

It depends on if I know them or not. First impressions are formative and if I encounter someone regurgitating mainstream BS propaganda I won’t know if they are being held hostage by a conditioned reflection of mainstream perception. If I know them personally I will know better and know this is not an authentic aspect of their personality.

kritiper's avatar

It depends primarily on the characteristics/thoughts/habits/traits/upbringing/personalities/education/social status/backgrounds/etc of the parents.

gailcalled's avatar

Could someone explain to me how a person(sic) thoughts can be a conditioned reflection of mainstream perception or what “a conditioned reflection of mainstream perception” means. I would even settle for what “a conditioned reflection” means. This seems to be many fancy words strung together grammatically but making no sense.

I do agree that we do wear masks but that is unrelated to our authentic self or personality.

ibstubro's avatar

Of course not. No one can.

Our personality/character is necessarily developed through constant interaction with mainstream perception.

I would go so far as to say, “Every person’s thoughts are a conditioned reflection of mainstream perception processed to express an authentic aspect of their personality/character?” Cumbersome as that is to say!

Short version (wow, I almost said Cliff Notes): We are all the products of our environment, like it or not. Conventional wisdom, the BOX is the tool that allows us to think outside of it.

Coloma's avatar

I’m pretty intuitive but I’m with @gailcalled on this one, we are all products of certain conditioning, wear social masks to a degree, some more than others, but….short of someone reciting, verbatim, the morning headlines and peddling them as an original passion, it takes time to get to know anothers authentic self.
I went out on a limb today on a hike with a friend who asked me if I believed in God.
I was authentic enough to share my personal beliefs and honest about why I was more science/evolutionary minded. She handled it well and even took great interest in some of my musings. I have known her for almost 10 years and today was an authentic moment, I was not afraid to possibly shake up her beliefs a little and it ended with a good conversation and talking about how we wished a dinosaur would walk out of the woods. haha

Point is it can take YEARS to really get a solid perspective on others at times.
Instant authenticity is just not possible for the most part.
We are discovering new things and sides to people and ourselves all the time.

Cruiser's avatar

@gailcalled I am taking a big risk here by using Obama as an example here because I know it will get me labeled as a Tea Party Obama hater but it is a prime example of this conditioned reflection of mainstream perception.

In reality I think Obama is very smart…you don’t get a Harvard Sheepskin by being a dope smoking idiot. That said, against huge odds he was elected President and even beat Hilary and many other qualified candidates in the process with having next to no political experience. Now ask how did he pull this off?? Voters were swayed by this so called conditioned reflection of mainstream perception being asked here. People were moved by his message of hope and change and over 51% of the population voted him into office again despite having almost zero political experience and zero explanations for how he was going to accomplish all his expensive promises and despite the obvious fact that this country was beyond in debt.

Now it is a given that he would get the 35% of the hard core Democratic vote but he needed to sway the undecideds to win the election and he did just that with this conditioned reflection of mainstream perception of the hope and change he so eloquently served up to a public so fed up with Bush.

If you are observant in any way you will see the same shift of attention and public opinion moving in the opposite direction right now again because of this “conditioned reflection of mainstream perception”.

In the end the engine that drives this conditioned reflection of mainstream perception is fear and politicians and the mainstream media are masters at preying on what they perceive the majority are dealing with in their every day lives and if you don’t fear it now they will do their best to overwhelm you with messages that will convince you that you should be very afraid by exploiting this conditioned reflection of mainstream perception.

zander101's avatar

@gailcalled the conditioned reflection of mainstream perception is behaviors or thought processes that people display only reflecting the mainstream perception of a society. For example the mainstream perception of the 80s is reflected through societal norms of what a person perceives as normal in that decade through the use of communication (language/dialect,interaction), consciousness (media, peer influence) etc. In comparison to the 2000s where the communication and consciousness is drastically different, this describes exactly why teenagers of the 80s in comparison to the teenagers of the 2000s are observed to be vastly different from one another in reference to how situations are dealt, age group wise. Like for example in reference to the approach to sexuality, teenagers of the 80s are observed to be relatively conservative in comparison to the teenagers of the 2000s.

@Coloma, out of topic, individuals who are intuitive are amazing. In topic, I’m pretty sure on the intuitive degree on perception, people who are naturally intuitive can feel shifts of perception through natural senses of instinct and consciousness. Mainstream perception may not include that perception as it currently incorporates the artificial foundations of competition which I feel diminishes the existence of natural insight vs.the natural foundations of unity which encourages it’s existence, which unfortunately increases the divide of humanity today.

@Cruiser I wouldn’t label you as a Tea Party Obama hater, you’re simply providing an example to express your thoughts and I agree concerning the fear that politicians and mainstream media are currently influencing society with, as it leads to people being docile and cautious concerning their life choices.

Coloma's avatar

@zander101 Right you are, I usually can read others quite accurately within a brief time frame, but..I have also learned that we are all prone to infinite unfoldings.

gailcalled's avatar

@zander101: I understand the gist but find that kind of abstraction muzzy and distracting.There have to be unconditioned reflections then, don’t there? What would that mean?

Wouldn’t “mainstream perceptions” stand alone and be easily understood?

KNOWITALL's avatar

I’d think the only way you can really tell is to have some very open conversations with them about the subject and question them on any issue you may be confused about in reference to their thought processes, or opinions.

For instance, my area is mainly conservative Christians, and I run into a lot of people who have no tolerance or love for LGBT’s at all, since it’s against the Bible. Because I have always questioned everything against my own sense of fair play and morality, etc…I am fine with LGBT’s. So in my case, it’s probably not mainstream, it’s just me using common sense and my heart.

herculies's avatar

Aren’t there other options such as inheriting some personality traits rom your parents?

Cruiser's avatar

@herculies IMHO I would think inherited personality traits would then qualify as an authentic aspect of their personality/character.

herculies's avatar

@Cruiser Wish I knew. I am a layman expert of the human brain… but the mind is beyond me.

Alcoholics claim they are predisposed to drinking… same as obese people. Maybe some of that is true, I’m not convinced.

Let the hate mail begin.

NanoNano's avatar

I don’t think even the individual themself can know know the difference between the two options. There is no true objectivity in life because none of us has an outside reference point from where we can look down on the universe and say, “ah, yeah, I thought that way because of this and that, or, Ah, I thought that way because it was inherent within my being.”

Basically, you choose your own path and the origins of your choices, which are nested in so many convuluted influences that they are impossible to trace to one point, become irrrelevent.

Cruiser's avatar

@herculies Alcoholics think they are predisposed to drinking simply because they took that first drink. No alcoholic expected to become one…they just drank too much and too often. That is all simply a matter of choice and very often…too often…poor choices….and very difficult to admit to.

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