"The session leader intervenes and tries to help the users to isolate particular aspects of the system that may contribute to the system's perceived lack of flexibility."

I googled for perceived definition:

interpret or regard (someone or something) in a particular way

I guess the perceived usage here is trying to describe how people feel about the lack of flexibility. But not quite sure the meaning here. I have seen such kind of usage very often by using perceived in front of a noun.

Please help me with more explanation about the meaning.


  • You have figured out the usage by yourself, "in front of a noun". So, I guess you are asking about the meaning, not the usage, right?
    – WXJ96163
    Mar 22, 2020 at 10:48
  • Oh yes I mean the meaning not the usage. Sorry for the confusion.
    – hckalewine
    Mar 22, 2020 at 10:49
  • 1
    The "lack of flexibilty" may or not be true, so it is qualified by "perceived". It is not about how people feel about the lack of flexibility – they are trying to analyse the reasons for that supposed lack. Similarly you can discuss the court appearance of an "alleged" murderer, who may or may not be guilty. Mar 22, 2020 at 11:10
  • @WeatherVane thanks so much!
    – hckalewine
    Mar 22, 2020 at 12:03

1 Answer 1


Adding "perceived" to a noun which talks about a condition or a state of being means that the condition may or may not actually exist, but some other person (or people) believes it to exist based on their own experiences or point of view.

In the case of your example, there may or may not be any actual lack of flexibility, but the users have perceived that there is a lack of flexibility, meaning that they have come to the conclusion that there is lack of flexibility based on what they have experienced themselves.

It may be that there isn't actually a lack of flexibility, and the users have just misunderstood or are not aware of some information. It could also be that there actually is a lack of flexibility, and they have perceived correctly, but the text is not trying to say whether there actually is or is not, it's just talking about what the users believe to be the case.

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