Each of us has many maps in our hea, which can be divided into two main categories:

  • maps of the way things are or realities
  • maps of the way things should be or values

We interpret everything we experience through these mental maps. We seldom question their accuracy, we's usually even unaware that we have them. We simply assume that the way we see things is the way they really are or the way they should be.

And our attitudes and behaviours grow out of those assumptions. The way we see things is the source of the way we think and the way we act.

Example: same thing, diffrent views; the picture of the old and young lady

This perception demonstration also shows how powerfully our paradigms affect the way we interact with other people. As clearly and objectively as we think we see things, we begin to realise that others see them differently from their own apparently equally clear and objective point of view.

Each os us tends to think we see things as they are, that we are objective. But this is not the case. Wee see the world, not as it is, but as we are - or, as we are conditioned to see it. When we open our mouths to describe what we see, we in effect describe ourselves, our perceptions, our paradigms. When other people disagree with us, we immediately think something is wrong with them. But, as the demonstration shows, sincere, clearheaded people see things differently, each looking through the unique lens of experience.

This does not mean that there are no facts. In the demonstration, two individuals who initially now both looking at the same identical facts, black lines and white spaces - they would both ACK these as facts.

Lanmark book: The structure of science revolutions