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News & Views - Dec, 1992 Issue 

SUWS Methodology
Perceptual Levels Of Thinking
George Church, Admissions
(206) 881-7173

Taken from the Adolescent Behavior Change (SUWS) brochure titled "Adolescent Program."

Students think about various subjects, or even conversations, at different levels. The same information given to several students often has different meanings for each student. For example, you could say loudly to a student, "Close that door." There are several levels to think about that statement. One student might think about what the statement means about him or her as a person. Does this mean I'm a slave -- an idiot -- a peon? Another student might think about what the statement means about the speaker, the weather, what's in the next room, etc. Another student might think about his or her ability and behavior to close the door. And last, another student might think about any environmental interferences to closing the door, like furniture, rusty hinges, etc.

Messages, spoken or unspoken, at one level are often perceived at another level. Relationship problems are often conceived when communications are perceived at an unintended level of thinking. That is a classic miscommunication. ...Many students get stuck at one level. Perhaps you have known individuals who take the shutting of almost all doors as a message about them, not the door. These people lead stressful lives at best. Much personal progress is made by skillful use of "level" thinking.

Copyright 1992, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced without prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)

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