We take in information from our environment in discrete steps. We abstract from the continuous data streams (aka “The Real World”) in the following order:

  1. Something happens (Event)
  2. We sense what happens (Object)
  3. We recognize what happens (Description)
  4. We generate meanings for what happens (Inferences)

This pattern was first published in 1933 in Korzybski’s Science and Sanity: An Introduction to Non-Aristotelian Systems and General Semantics. From these abstractions we create the parallel experience in our mind that allows us to recreate the experience. Here is a review of the abstracting process.

We get information from the “real world” via our senses: hearing, seeing, touching, tasting and smelling. As we experience our world, we tend to store the the event information in our memory in the same “sense” that we experienced. We can see what happened, we might hear a loved one’s voice, or feel the chill in the air. I found this instrument a fun way to determine my preferred sensory intake channel. You can link to more information about Modalities and Representational Systems from the page. There are only 12 questions, so I wonder about how “accurate” the results are.

Like the MBTI, this way of looking at people’s differences helps me understand myself more than tell me the “truth” about you.

What do you think? Drop me a note!