Interpretation as part of perception is a cognitive achievement. The interpretation is closely related to the other cognitive abilities of observing and judging. People observe a situation, interpret the facts and then form an opinion.

What is the interpretation?

The interpretation is closely related to the other cognitive abilities of observing and judging.

The term interpretation goes back to the Latin language and means "translation", "interpretation", "explanation". It is the cognitive ability of understanding, perceiving and subjective interpretation. People are dependent on constantly observing, interpreting and judging, in order to find their way around the environment, to communicate with their fellow human beings and to react accordingly.

People without mental and cognitive illnesses master all three modes, which are closely related in many life situations. It is well conceivable that a person who hallucinates does not properly observe a situation, therefore misinterprets it and in the last step comes to a wrong judgment.

Function & Task

An interpretation is always a cognitive performance with which perception is classified. It is therefore a mental ability. Only on the basis of observations people are able to interpret facts and arrive at a judgment.

Especially with socially sensitive topics such as politics or religion, the exchange of views can be very lively, because each interprets these topics differently. In a pleasant situation is the person who finds interlocutors who share his opinion, since the communication is less difficult. In the case of different interpretations, a disagreement quickly becomes dissent. In this situation, it becomes clear that every participant in the conversation has interpreted and evaluated the observations he made on this subject differently.

Since it is a subjective sense performance, most people assume that they are right. They see their view of things as true and assume that the others have misjudged, interpreted and judged the facts. A conscious separation of the three modes of observing, interpreting and judging is not undertaken, they merge smoothly into each other.

In order to reach consensus, it is important that all parties have the same information. For example, if a man accuses his wife of no longer loving him, but you do not say why he thinks so, she can not respond adequately to his charge because she does not know the reason for his acceptance. The man saw the woman the day before in the company of an unknown man in a restaurant and observed that the two are very familiar.

Based on this observation, he interprets the situation that his wife cheats on him with the other man and believes that she no longer loves him. To break up her husband's interpretation, the woman has to ask why her husband thinks that way. If she has the information, she can clarify the situation. Her husband knows that he misinterpreted the situation he observed and therefore came to a wrong judgment.

Problem solving can be very simple based on an immediate reaction. However, it often happens that people get annoyed about the interpretation and opinion of their fellow human beings and engage too quickly in a dispute.

However, there are also things that can not be the subject of an interpretation because they are fixed facts. 1 + 1 always gives 2. The case law states that it is forbidden to steal from others. Those who do not comply will face legal sanctions such as a fine or imprisonment. The dissident can not claim to have interpreted this law differently and therefore acted lawfully.

On the other hand, to a great extent, freely accessible for interpretations are also works of art. Everybody interprets the image of a painter and his statement differently, it is a subjective sensation.

Diseases & complaints

People who suffer from disturbed sensory perception can not properly process external sensory impressions in the central nervous system. A disturbance occurs when the connection of the individual sensory systems is restricted or no longer works. The affected people are no longer able to orient themselves properly in their environment and to communicate with their fellow human beings.

If a person suffers from perceptual disorders, he or she is only able to observe, interpret, judge and demonstrate appropriate behavior properly. Perceptual errors can occur because of a physical or mental illness, such as dementia, depression, headache or fatigue, but also because of the social environment that awaits specific behaviors.

If a person falls for deviant behavior because he interprets a situation differently than expected from his social environment, he is usually negative. However, individual interpretation is only one of several possible interpretations that follow observation. On the other hand, those who always regard their own interpretation as the one true one often cause arguments with their fellow human beings.

The realization that perceptions can also be interpreted in other ways enables people to understand and accept divergent opinions.

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