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Uncommon Ground: How Perceptions of Physical Space Differ Crucially Across Cultures
1:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Thu Oct 19, 2017
Coral Room


One of the most powerful and pervasive ‘givens’ that can impede communication is the assumption that, when two human beings observe the same scene, they are to a large extent sharing a similar cognitive and emotional experience. This assumption leads to a focus on the ostensible content of the communication while neglecting critical aspects of the context, physical and cultural, within which it is taking place. Crucially however, perception is very much a complex cultural phenomenon, the categories, meanings and interpretations assigned to what is perceived residing less in external features than in people’s heads. This session offers a six-part framework for considering how different perceptions of physical space can evoke varying reactions according to cultural background, potentially giving rise to mutual incomprehension and conflict. A 45-minute illustrated presentation will be followed by a group exercise and a full discussion.

Richard Harris
Sietar USA

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