The Advantage of Preconceived Ideas
Author: Pöppel, Ernst
Source: Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, Volume 15, Number 4, December 1990 , pp. 327-333(7)
Publisher: Maney Publishing
Abstract:Descartes tells us to be without prejudice if we deal with a problem. It turns out that, in principle, we are not capable of being without prejudices or preconceived ideas. For economical reasons reference systems are established within which perception and cognition operate, and such reference systems can be studied experimentally in perception. One conclusion is the following definition of perception: It is the verification (or falsification) of a hypothesis (or a preconceived idea) which at a given moment a person has about the state of the world or his or her own condition. Preconceived ideas – or prejudices – also operate on the cognitive level and lead to unacceptable consequences in cases of social evaluation. No one can be free of prejudices; the only way to prevent negative consequences is to know about their existence.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Institute for Medical Psychology, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, FRG
Publication date: 1990-12-01