Is there a name for the concept of a person's perception in your mind changing based on new information? I'm thinking something like 'taint', but more specific to people and maybe less negative.

For example, I love the music of Chick Corea, but recently learned he is devoted to his belief in Scientology. Try as I might, I cannot even hear his name without thinking about Scientology. Regardless of my thoughts on the religion, my idea of him has changed permanently based on this new information. Does this transformation have a name?

  • You’ve had cause to reevaluate
    – Jim
    Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 22:26
  • What you're experiencing is cognitive dissonance. You are still in the mode of dealing with that dissonance, which is the confusion you feel. How you eventually deal with it (there are 3-4 main strategies) will determine your feelings in the future.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 0:17

5 Answers 5


I'd use the verb colour/color here.

From Oxford (verb, 3rd sense):

[with object] Influence, especially in a negative way; distort:

‘the experiences had coloured her whole existence’

‘My experience of what I read here is also coloured by knowing several contributors.’

‘I don't mention it often, because I don't want it to colour the way people read everything I write, or change the way that people talk to me, which it often can.’

It's less negative than taint.

You could say something like: "Learning about his beliefs colored my opinion of him."


So, after you learned about Chick Corea's devotion to scientology, you saw [him] in a new light. Alternatively, you saw a different side of him. I could not find a definition for this idiom, but it refers to seeing (or becoming aware of) aspects of a person's personality you were previously unaware of, and can be used positively or negatively.

  • That is a good phrase, but it does not necessarily refer to a change in perception so much as new information being presented.
    – Cameron
    Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 21:51

Perhaps you could say that what you learned about the person caused you to have second thoughts or gave you pause.


second thoughts: a change of opinion or resolve reached after considering something again

give pause to someone (or give someone pause for thought): to cause someone to think carefully or hesitate before doing something [such as continuing to think the same way about someone]


It's an eye-opener.


eye–opener noun

2 : something startling, surprising, or enlightening : her biography is a real eye–opener


eye-opener noun
something that surprises you and teaches you new facts about life, people, etc.


You were disillusioned. Been looking for this word just now and I came across this post. I think disillusion is the word we were both looking for.

  • 1
    Can you add a definition? For what it's worth, I agree that this is one of the right words. But answers on this site are generally required to have sources :) Commented Mar 25, 2023 at 16:22

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