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12 Examples of Perception Change

Perception change is change to attitudes, opinions, interpretations and understanding. This can occur at the individual level or at the level of societies and groups. The following are illustrative examples of how perceptions change.


Mood is a sustained emotional state that colors all thoughts including perception. For example, you might find a particular commercial funny when you're in a relaxed mood but annoying when you're glum.

Social Proof

Social proof is the use of social information and social status to form interpretations. For example, you may think a movie looks good from its trailer but then change this perception when you hear from people in social media that it's cliche and boring.


People typically consume a great deal of information, opinion and signals of social proof through the media that shape and reshape perceptions.


Persuasion is the art of using communication to change attitudes, opinions and perceptions. For example, a skilled public speaker who makes an entire audience feel that a problem is urgent and important.


Labeling is the practice of applying stereotypes to things with language. For example, an actor that you like until the media labels them with some political term.

Paradigm Shift

A paradigm shift is new knowledge or technology that has broad implications such that it may influence a large number of perceptions. For example, the invention of the jet aircraft influenced perceptions of the size of the world and the distances between countries.

True Colors

People may present themselves to media or in social situations in ways that differ from how they really think and behave. True colors is the tendency for this facade to collapse once in a while whereby your true nature becomes apparent to others.


An attitude is your state of mind with respect to a particular person, thing, concept or issue. For example, if you respect someone your perception of their ideas may be generally positive. If this respect were to decline, these perceptions may quickly change.


Small changes in what you believe can transform your perceptions. For example, if you believe that you are exceptional and entitled to greatness your perceptions of rejection or failure may be quite negative. If you begin to believe that life is hard and that greatness will be difficult to achieve, you may handle failures more easily and have a sense of gratitude in success.


As you experience things, your perceptions of them changes. It is also possible for a single experience to change all of your perceptions. For example, if you do something very brave to conquer a fear, your perception of all fear and risk may change.


Perspective is the process of looking at how something fits into the bigger picture. If a classmate insults you in 9th grade, this may feel like a tragedy. However, if you try to gain perspective you may realize that this is likely to become meaningless to you in the longer term.

Frame of Mind

Frame of mind is the way that you are thinking at a point in time. This massively changes perception. For example, if you are open and curious a noisy and unfamiliar environment may be intriguing but if you are feeling closed and introspective the same environment could feel bothersome.

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