In psychology selective perceptive is the tendency not to notice and more quickly forget stimuli that causes emotional discomfort and contradicts our prior beliefs. We know that this tendency is very real and can be quantified since the mid 60’s however we tend only to use and notice it in relationship with branding and advertising. The areas where we all have seen it applied are in demos were we concentrate on the mistake as we are poised that something is going to go wrong and are happily ignoring the 99 demos that went good, but instead we are focussing on the one that went bad. The other one place were many of us will find ourselves noticing selective perspective is applying political correctness mainly on article written about political correctness. However selective perspective is really important to know if you are an architect.
Let me start with the cloud as an area, as I for a very long time just thought it was a repacking of the time share of old, just with more power. So this is when I missed the real flexibility and the container processing movement with micro services as I deployed my selective perceptive upon it. In the same way I have seen fellow architects ignoring a lot of sound advice in one or the other area just because the research contradicted their beliefs. A good example for this was the time when SOA was the hot potato and any real research warning of areas where you should not use it was ignored by everyone. So in a sense we all have areas where selective perception influences us.
A classical lie in this area is however that selective perception only affects the elderly and as older as you get you develop more of it. The point that is usually observed and leads to this misconception is just around the areas where older people develop selective perceptions as they are usually directed against newer things that tend to run against the trend. All in all selective perception is wonderfully age independent. However it affects more people more severely who are not willing to challenge themselves from time to time and often leads a lot of architects of not studying in the direction the market is moving and instead invest a lot into areas that become obsolete. As such knowing that we all fall for selective perception is a powerful argument for self criticism.