Difference Between Perception and Perspective

Perception vs Perspective

When talking about point of view, one should know the difference between perception and perspective. Each person has a way of seeing the world. The experiences of life, upbringing, education, exposure all assist in shaping up this outlook to life and the surrounding environment. When speaking of such points of view and outlooks, there are two terms that pop up to one’s mind. They are perception and perspective. Even though people tend to use these terms interchangeably, the two terms are different from one another. Simply said, perspective is a point of view, but perception is an individual’s interpretation of things. It is an understanding a person gains through awareness. This article attempts to define these two terms, perception and perspective, while presenting the differences that exist between perception and perspective.

What does Perspective mean?

A perspective is a point of view. It is a framework that we use to look at things. Let us try to understand this through sociology. In Sociology when we say Marxist perspective, it means the perspective adopted by sociologists who follow the theories of Marxism. According to this perspective, society is seen as a struggle between social classes, mainly the capitalists and the proletariats. Then, adopting Marxist perspective would be seeing every social issue, action, activity and process in the form of a struggle between classes. If we say adopting a Functionalist perspective it would be to see the society through the different functions that have been allocated for each social institution (education, economy, religion, politics, and family) and how these are inter-dependent on one another. In this manner, to have a perspective is to have a particular framework or a point of view in looking at things. Each has his/her own perspective to things.

What does Perception mean?

Perception is the interpretation one gives through his awareness. It is a way of understanding and gaining insight. People have a different perspective when understanding things. They all have a way in which they view the world. However, when we refer to perception we need to go a little deeper to understand its meaning. It is not about completely following a certain point of view but, on the contrary, it deals more with the meaning that we provide to it. This refers to our own interpretation to things. For example, when we refer to the concept of life itself, there are different perspectives to it. Different people view it in different ways. However, these are their perspectives. Perception to life is when we understand and are aware of different perspectives, have gone through different experiences and based on them, we create our own interpretation, our own insight. This is perception.

Difference Between Perception and Perspective

What is the difference between Perception and Perspective?

• To sum up, perspective refers to a point of view whereas perception refers to an interpretation that an individual comes up with through his awareness.

• So the key difference between the two terms is that it is the different perspectives that help us to create our perception.

• Perception is not about embracing a single perspective. It is more of a collation of different ideas, values, attitudes and experiences which give rise to an insight.


Images Courtesy:

  1. Conceptual process of perception by Mdd (CC BY 3.0)