Objectivists perceive reality for what it is. They do bring their own perceptions into a discussion, or an observation, but the pure philosophical stance is to try and perceive facts as they are without injecting bias or reason into them.
However, reason is the basis of knowledge for all objectivist thinking. These two concepts seem at odds on the surface, yet Objectivism is keenly aware of the connection between reason and knowledge at all times.
Man observes a phenomenon using his five senses to perceive it. He begins to form concepts based on those observations, and the brain (whether we are conscious of it or not) is constantly checking those ideas against our perception of reality. Through this process, the brain seeks contradictions and corrects them appropriately. The brain uses reason in order to eliminate the impossibilities that exist in our minds. We use reason everyday to learn about the world around us, because we are able to perceive facts as they are.
Objectivism is staunchly opposed to all forms of mysticism. The only higher power exists in nature, and assuming otherwise is to inject bias into the situation. Objectivism also rejects ideas such as ESP, because “just knowing” something is irrational. The flip side is that skepticism, which some praise as a form of knowledge acquisition, is equally opposed. A belief that it is impossible to know something ignores years of observations, notations, testing, theories and knowledge gained over time.
Through reason, man understands the world around him and develops a sense of true right and wrong.