Factor Influencing Individual Perception

20/04/2020 2 By indiafreenotes

  1. Selective Perception

We receive a vast amount of information. Therefore, it is impossible for us to assimilate everything we see – on eye certain stimuli can betaken. That is why their boss may reprimand some employees for doing something that when done by another employee goes unnoticed. Since, we can’t observe everything going on about us, we engage in selective perception.

Selective perception is also out tendency to choose information that supports our view points; Individuals often ignore information that makes them feel uncomfortable or threatens their view points.

Selective perception allows us to “speed-read” others, but not without the risk of drawing an inaccurate picture. Because we see what we want to see, we can draw unwarranted conclusions from an ambiguous, perception tends to be influenced more by an individual’s attitudes, interests, and background than by the stimulus itself.

  1. Stereotype

A stereotype is a generalization about a group of people. When we judge someone on the basis of our perception of the group to which he or she belongs, we are using the shortcut called stereo typing. Stereo types reduce information about other people to a workable level, and they are efficient for compiling and using information. It is a means of simplifying a complex world and it permits us to maintain consistency. It is less difficult to deal with an unmanageable number of stimuli if we use stereo types. Stereo types can be accurate, and when they are accurate, they can be useful perceptual guidelines. However, most of the times stereotypes are inaccurate.

Attractiveness is a powerful stereo type. We assume that attractive individuals are also warm, kind, sensitive, poised, sociable, outgoing, independent, and strong. Are attractive people sociable, outgoing, independent, and strong? Are attractive peoplereally like this? Certainly all of them are not.

In organizations, we frequently hear comments that represent stereo types based on gender, age, nationality etc. From a perceptual stand point, if people expect tosee this stereo type, that is what they will perceive, whether it’s accurate or not.

  1. Halo Effect

The halo error in perception is very similar to stereo typing. Where as in stereo typing the person is perceived according to a single category, under the halo effect the person is perceived on the basis of one trait.

When we draw a general impression about an individual based on a single characteristic, such as intelligence, sociability or appearance, a halo effect is operating. The propensity for the halo effect to operate is not random. Research suggests it is likely to be most extreme when the traits to be perceived are ambiguous in behavioural terms, when the traits have moral over tones, and when the perceiver is judging traits with which he or she has limited experience. Example of halo effect is the extremely attractive women secretary who is perceived by her male boss as being an intelligent, good performer, when, in fact, she is a poor typist.

  1. First-impression error

Individuals place a good deal of importance on first impressions. First impressions are lasting impressions. We tend to remember what we perceive first about a person, and some times we are quite reluctant to change our initial impressions. First – impression error means the tendency to form lasting opinions about an individual based on initial perceptions. Primacy effects can be particularly dangerous in interviews, given that we form first impressions quickly and that these impressions may be the basis for long-term employment relationships.

  1. Contrast Effect

Stimuli that contrast with the surrounding environment are more likely to be selected for attention than the stimuli that blends in. A contrasting effect can be caused by colour, size or any other factor that is unusual (any factor that distinguishes one stimulus from others at present). For example, a man walking down the street with a pair of crutches is more attention getting than a common man. A contrast effect is the evaluation of a person’s characteristics that are affected by comparisons with other people recently encountered that rank higher or lower on the same characteristics. The “contrast” principle essentially states that external stimuli that stands out against the background or which are not what are expecting well receive their attention. The contrast effect also explains why a male students tands out in a crowd of female students. There is nothing unusual about the male students but, when surrounded by females, he stands out.

An illustration of how contrast effects operate in an interview situation in which one sees a pool of job applicants. Distortions in any given candidate’s evaluation can occur as a result of his or her place in the interview schedule. The candidate is likely to receive a more favourable evaluation if preceded by mediocre applicants, and a less favourable evaluation if preceded by strong applicants.

  1. Projection

It is easy to judge others if we assume they are similar to us. This tendency to attribute one’s own characteristics to other people is called projection.

Projection can distort perceptions made about others. People who engage inprojection tend to perceive others. According to what they they are like rather than according to what the person being observed is really like. When managers engage in projection, they compromise their ability to respond to individual differences.

They tend to see people as more homogeneous than they really are.

  1. Implicit Personality Theories

We tend to have our own mini-theories about how people look and behave. These theories help us organize our perceptions and take shortcuts instead of integrating new information all the time. Implicit-personality theory is opinions formed about other people that are based on our own mini theories about how people behave. For example we believe that girls dressed in fashionable clothes will like modern music and girls dressed in traditional dress like saree will like Indian classical music. These implicit personality theories are barriers because they limit out ability to take in new information when it is available.

  1. Self-Fulfilling Prophecies

Self-fulfilling prophecies are the situation in which our expectations about people affect our interaction with them in such a way that our expectations are fulfilled. Self -fulfilling prophecy is also known as the Pygmalion effect, named after a sculptor in Greek mythology who carved a statue of a girl that came to life when he prayed for this wish and it was granted.

The Pygmalion effect has been observed in work organizations as well. A manager’s expectations of an individual affect both the manager’s behaviour toward the individual and the individual’s response. For example, suppose a manager has an initial impression of an employee as having the potential to move up within the organization. Chances are that the manager will spend a great deal of time coaching and counselling the employee, providing challenging assignments and grooming the individual for success.