Is there tacit knowledge in perception of objects?

Postby samet186 » Mon Apr 19, 2021 3:21 pm

Hello everyone,

I just read the book ''Personal Knowledge'' by Michael Polanyi and was fascinated by his idea of tacit knowledge. I understand that there is tacit knowledge involved in activities like speaking or riding a bicycle. But what about the perception of normal objects. Is there also implicit knowledge involved?

For example: When I see a tiger in front of me, I become instantly scared. I don't think consciously that the tiger is dangerous, and it might kill me. But if I would reflect in that situation and ask myself, why I am scared of the tiger, I could verbalize it by saying explicitly: Because Tigers might kill people.

But let's say a child encounters a tiger. It doesn't know anything about the tiger and its dangerousness. So it doesn't get scared of the tiger. So obviously the fear of the tiger has to do with our knowledge about it. But where is this knowledge at the moment where the tiger is in front of us. Is it implicit?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts
samet186
New Member
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2021 2:58 pm
Likes Received: 0


#1

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Mon Apr 19, 2021 3:59 pm

samet186 wrote: So obviously the fear of the tiger has to do with our knowledge about it. But where is this knowledge at the moment where the tiger is in front of us. Is it implicit?


The knowledge about the tiger comes in both forms.

There is explicit knowledge. This is knowledge easily communicated such as, "A tiger has sharp teeth and claws."

But there is also implicit knowledge such as the sounds, body language, temperament, and speed of the tiger. An expert, a person that has worked with and trained tigers will have tacit knowledge of exactly how fast or what a particular sound might mean, or what it means if the tiger's tail is in a certain position. This knowledge is tacit, gained via experience and hard to communicate.

So yes, there is tacit knowledge in the perception of objects.
Richard@DecisionSkills
MVP
MVP
 
Posts: 11344
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:25 am
Likes Received: 1186

#2

Postby samet186 » Mon Apr 19, 2021 4:36 pm

Thanks for the answer.
I also did identify that there is in fact explicit knowledge about the tiger. It is easy to identity just by asking: ''Why are you scared of the tiger''.
But my point is that this explicit knowledge is not conscious at the moment, where you see the tiger. You don't stop and think ''Oh the tiger is dangerous because it has sharp teeth and claws''.
Rather you just see the tiger and become scared of it.
My question is: How does a person become scared of the tiger, when the information about its dangerousness is not available at the moment, rather only the tiger itself is available at the moment.
I hope you understand, what I mean.
samet186
New Member
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2021 2:58 pm
Likes Received: 0

#3

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Mon Apr 19, 2021 4:59 pm

samet186 wrote:My question is: How does a person become scared of the tiger, when the information about its dangerousness is not available at the moment, rather only the tiger itself is available at the moment.


The tiger is not the only thing available. Your imagination is also available. Your imagination is how you might "conceive" of a risk, which is different than "perceive" a risk. It is the difference between conception and perception.

In the moment the person sees a tiger they can imagine, because they have already imagined previously. In fact, I'm confident, that even without a tiger in front of you, that you can imagine. And you can imagine how you might respond to the tiger. Even if you have never actually faced a tiger, you still have a story, a narrative in your mind, a mental representation that you can simulate. In this moment, you and I can have a discussion about a hypothetical situation that involves an object (tiger) and the knowledge we have about the tiger. From the knowledge we have, if we see a tiger in the wild we will be scared as imagination becomes reality.

We can do this with any number of objects. Tigers, sharks, snakes, fire, cars, knives, boats, airplanes, etc. etc. etc. Thousands of objects we have in memory.

Presumably, you've never been in an airplane crash, yet you can conceive of what might happen. You can imagine. So if a plane begins to rapidly descend, even though you have never experienced a plane crash, you will be scared.

The above fits under 'schema theory' and 'recognition primed decision making'.

https://www.amazon.com/Structure-Consci ... 1527537560

A book by Lee Beach explains the process nicely. Unfortunately it is a bit pricey.
Richard@DecisionSkills
MVP
MVP
 
Posts: 11344
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:25 am
Likes Received: 1186

#4

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Mon Apr 19, 2021 5:13 pm

Here is a description of the book by Lee Beach:

There must exist a point at which the molecular and electro-chemical processes that comprise brain function are transformed into rich, orderly conscious experience which seamlessly blends the present moment, what led up to it, and what will follow it. This is the stuff of our everyday lives, and it raises questions about its organization and how that organization facilitates engagement with the world at large. In short, what is the structure of conscious experience and what is gained by it being structured that way? This book argues that the structure is what is familiarly known as narrative form and that the gain is the ability to communicate about ones experience with oneself and others, as well as to make informed predictions about what will happen in the fundamentally unknowable and potentially dangerous future. In the latter case, because the essence of narrative form is time and causality, structuring events from memory (the past) and from perception (the present) in narrative form causally implies future events (expectations). The potential threat (the bad or the absence of good) of these expected future events can be assessed, and, if required, action can be taken to prevent their occurrence or to diminish their impact. The implications about thinking and action, and about who we are as individuals, are also discussed here.
Richard@DecisionSkills
MVP
MVP
 
Posts: 11344
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:25 am
Likes Received: 1186

#5

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Mon Apr 19, 2021 10:47 pm

Coincidence...a friend of mine sent this to me today and I found it on topic...

https://youtu.be/oYp5XuGYqqY

It discusses the role of perception in evolution. It is not to see the reality we call "tiger". Rather, perception is a tool for us to survive whatever a "tiger" might be.
Richard@DecisionSkills
MVP
MVP
 
Posts: 11344
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:25 am
Likes Received: 1186



Return to Psychology