Excess Noise Knowledge Base

Definitions for those who work in communications and perception


Filter 2: Imprinting

…or what we have learnt

Who is Einstein? How much is two plus two? What is AIDS? Do you know how to ski? Have you been through a divorce? The second filter, Imprinting, refers to the sum of all acquired knowledge and personal experience gathered in the course of a lifetime.

Imprinting is education, culture and tradition. Though the response is less immediate than with a hardwired point of reference, it remains strong. We are a very social animal. What others think, matters. What our tribe believes, we esteem. This is not to say that we will not go against an acquired principal, but we are greatly influenced by our imprinted beliefs. Religion is a good example; it incites people to martyrdom. On a simpler level, ask a Chinese what the color red means and he will possibly tell you money — making it, not losing it. Chinese traditionally receive money gifts in red envelopes. Instead, occidentals associate red with the lack of money as in ‘being in the red’.

Obviously, each one of us has colossal amounts of imprinted information. To know how every person on Earth will react to a given social or cultural stimulus is unthinkable. As we will see, however, communications analysis uses a model that makes the analysis of the imprinting filter feasible.

Related entries

Leave a reply

This glossary of definitions is not intended as an academic reference. It is an exercise in thinking on our part. We hope to grow it and welcome any suggestions you may have.