‘Perception of’ was the first way of saying this that came to mind, but I used the word recently in my context and I would like a word that more clearly conveys the entirety of the way that one person perceives another, as in, their mental image of them, of both personality and experiences.
‘Mental image’ is listed as a synonym of ‘perception’ on Merriam-Webster, but this term is too clunky for my sentence and I still don’t feel that it properly expresses what I’m trying to say.
Definition of Perception from Merriam-Webster:
a mental image
Also: a way of regarding, understanding, or interpreting something
I feel like there should be a specific word for this, but don’t know what it is.
For Context: My character has just learned more about another character in my book; specifically, her back story. Hearing about it has cleared his ‘mental image’ of her a bit more. In my sentence, I used the word ‘perception’ by saying ‘...his perception of her cleared further and further...’ exactly.
Is there a word I could use as a substitute for ‘perception’ that gets my meaning across? Again, I realize that mental image would work here, but it doesn’t sound right to me (basically, it makes my sentence flow awkwardly)
*Update (and apologies for being picky): While ‘perspective’ means:
the interrelation in which a subject or its parts are mentally viewed
(definition from Merriam-Webster)
and seems to work perfectly by definition, it doesn’t flow smoothly in context; if there is another form of this word that would work as well, I’d appreciate hearing it.
Outlook defined by Cambridge Dictionary as:
a person’s general attitude or way of thinking about something
also has the right meaning, but when I see this word, I think more of a general point of view on life or a situation.