Organizational Behavior - MHR 405
Amir Ali Golbazi
Perception & Personality
Social Perception & Why it is Important in the Workplace
Perception is how we view the world around us, it adds meaning to the senses we experience throughout our lives and is
used as a primary source of how we understand and ourselves and our surroundings. Social Perception is the
interpretation of information about another person, and refers to the processes in which we use information to formulate
impressions of others. All management activities rely on perception.
Factors that Inﬂuence our Perception of Others
There are three major categories of inﬂuence that affect our perception of others; Characteristics of ourselves as
perceivers, characteristics of the target person we are perceiving, and characteristics of the situation in which the
interaction takes place.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PERCEIVER
Familiarity, attitude, mood, and self concept inﬂuence how
we perceive others. Familiarity however is not always a
good indicator of perceptions as the perceiver might
become blind to the negative attributes of the one
perceived over time. Attitudes also affect our perceptions,
in ways which blind us. Mood also dictates our
perceptions as our emotions ﬂuctuate. In positive moods
we are more positive in perceiving and vice versa.
Cognitive Structure is an individuals way or pattern of
thinking. This is where a person relies perceptions on
numerous traits may it be physical or characteristic. And
ﬁnally our Self Concept and how we perceive ourself also
affects perception. If we perceive ourself as positive we
tend to see the positives in another and vice versa
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE TARGET
The physical, verbal and nonverbal characteristics of the
subject perceived can also inﬂuence ones perception.
Physical Appearance is an inﬂuential factor of
perception. Perceivers tend to notice physical
appearances ﬁrst and utmost when interviewing a person. Those whom are above the norm are remembered and those
whom are attractive are usually given the upper advantage and higher starting salaries. Verbal Communication is also
considered when perceiving others. The tone of voice, accent, and rate of talking all affect perception. Nonverbal
Communication is eye contact, facial expressions, body movements, and posture. And ﬁnally the Intentions of the
target affect our perceptions.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SITUATION
The SItuations we are faced with and encounter also affect the way we perceive. For instance our perceptions of a
professor would be different if we met them in a classroom versus and restaurant. This is know as the Context of The
Situation. In addition the Strength of Situation Cues also effects our perceptions. This is where the Discounting
Principle is used in social perception, it is the assumption that an individuals behavior is accounted for by the situation.
Inﬂuence of Culture on Perception
Culture affects our interpretation of the data we gather, as well as the way we add meaning to it.
ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR MHR 405 CHAPTER 3 AMIR ALI GOLBAZI 1 Impression Management: Managing the Perceptions of Others
The process by which individuals try and control the impression of others on them is called Impression Management.
There are several techniques used in the pursuit of such management. One is called Self Enhancing, Name Dropping
which is the mentioning the association with and important person in hopes of improving ones own image. Also individuals
could manage their Appearance. Another form of impression management is Other Enhancing, which is focusing on the
individual whose impression is to be managed. One way to do this is
Flattery which is to give compliments for to win someones approval. In
addition Granting Favors & Agreeing is also used.
IMPRESSION MANAGEMENT & THE EMPLOYMENT INTERVIEW
It must be noted that not all impression management tactics are beneﬁcial
to the user. Success is mostly dependent on whether behaviors exhibited
in an interview are “Self Focused” or Other-Focused”.
Self Focused refers to the idea that one engages in behaviors to promote
ones self. While Other-Focused refers to the notion that one engages in
behaviors that enhance the interview. The following are some interview
Barriers to Social Perception
Barriers to Social Perception
There are six barriers to social perception; selective perception, stereotyping, ﬁrst impression error, halo effect, projection,
and self fulﬁlling prophecy.
This is the tendency to become selective of information and thus accept ones that supports our personal viewpoints thus
making us disregard information which questions and threatens our viewpoints.
This is a generalization about a group of people.
FIRST IMPRESSION ERROR
It is said that an interviewer takes roughly 4 - 5 minutes to make a deacons upon accepting an individual during an
interview. This is somewhat of an example of the ﬁrs impression error and occurs when one witnesses a behavior of
another person and forms insights based on that behavior during the continued interaction.
The halo effect is simply basing the perceptions of a person based on one of their prominent characteristics. For example
a manager who values donations to charity sees that one of his employees does not donate and thus assume that this
person is not giving.
Also known as the False Consensus Effect, which is the inaccurate perception of others due to the overestimation of the
number of people whom we believe share the same values, beliefs and behaviors.
SELF FULFILLING PROPHECIES
This is where a situation in which our expectations about people affect our interaction with them in such a way that our
expectations are fulﬁlled.
ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR MHR 405 CHAPTER 3 AMIR ALI GOLBAZI 2 Attribution in Organizations
The Attribution Theory explains how individuals pinpoint the cause of their own behavior and that of others. For example
when someone is late for work we believe it to be because of something they did or something out of their control.
INTERNAL & EXTERNAL ATTRIBUTES
Attributions can be made to an internal source of responsibility (Something within the individuals control) or external
source (something outside the individuals control). For instance if you studied and did well on a test you would attribute
your success to your effort, then you are making an Internal Attribution. However if you direct you results due to the fact
that it was an easy test or you were lucky then it is a
The attribution process may be affected by two main errors;
Fundamental Attribution Error and the Self-Serving Bias.
The tendency to make attributions to internal causes when
focusing on someone else’s behavior is known as the