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The Perception Process: May 14.docx

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Management Sciences
MSCI 411
Shannon Hartling

The Perception Process – May 14, 2013  Perception – process where we assign meaning to the world around us but everybody tunes in to the world differently.  Our idea of reality is partial.  We notice some events and fail to recognize others because we cannot be aware of anything going on around us no matter how attentive we are.  Perception is important – how we interpret events influences how we communicate with others  Process: selection organization, interpretation, negotiation Selection  Selection of data to which we will attend  Stimuli that are intense attract our attention – louder, larger, brighter although not always positive  Repetitive stimuli attracts attention – people to whom we are frequently exposed to become noticeable  Contrast or change invite attention  Unchanging people/things become less noticeable  It’s only when people go away do we appreciate them more  Motives influence what is selected from our environment – they determine how we perceive people.  Selection – ignoring cues. If you think someone is amazing you may overlook their serious flaws. Organization  Arrange it in a meaningful way  We make sense of stimuli by noticing data that stand out as a figure against a less striking ground  Figure-ground organization – certain speech stand out from voices  Perceptual schemata – cognitive frameworks that allows us to organize raw data to make sense of information about others  Physical constructs – classify people according to appearance – male/female, attractive/sloppy, big/small, young/old  Role constructs – social position as a means of organization  Interaction constructs – focus on social behavior: friendly, intense, helpful, sarcastic  Psychological constructs – organize people according to personalities – curious, nervous, insecure  Membership constructs – identify others according to groups they belong to  Perceptual schemata shapes the way we think about and communicate with others Stereotyping  After organizing scheme to classify people, use it to make generalizations and predictions about members of the groups who fit those categories.  If we were aware of gender, we will be alert to differences between how women and men behave  Generalizations are okay when accurate no when they lead to stereotyping – categorizing individuals according to set of characteristics assumed to belong to all members of a group  Example: women are not as smart as men; girls are not good at sports  Three characteristics of stereotypes: o Categorize people on the basis of an easily recognized characteristic – age is simple to identify o You ascribe characteristic to most or all members of a category. Ex: with limited experience, you conclude that old people don’t hear well o Apply characteristics to any member of the group  Stereotypes can have devastating effects  Racial profiling – black youth are more likely to be stopped and searched by the police that youth from other racial backgrounds  Stereotyping is not always from bad intentions. Teens in Japan may be torn between individualism and collectivism. As our global village becomes more connected, generalizations about cultures become less accurate  If your mental image and characteristics o a person don’t match, problems arise. o Ex: Phase 1: white and black students were presented with stores in a way that a prejudicial act did/did not take place. Most common: white perpetrator and black victim – prejudice o Females were more likely than males and backs more than whites to label an action as prejudiced. o We select, organize and interpret behavior in ways that fit our existing notions about others’ motives. Punctuation  Organizing goes beyond our generalized perceptions of people  Punctuation – tendency to determine the causal order of events. How actions are interpreted depends on when the interpreter thinks they occurred  Punctuation 1: criticizing  withdrawing  criticizing  withdrawing  Punctuation 2: withdrawing  criticizing Interpretation  Process of attaching meaning to sense data, plays a role in every interpersonal act  How you interpret events depends on: o Degree of involvement with individuals– males were asked to critique presentations by women who owned restaurants and half of these were designed to be competent and other half were incompetent. Men who were told they would be having a date with the female speakers judged their presentations – whether competent or not – more highly than those without involvement o Personal experience – having similar experiences o Assumptions about human behavior – people do as little work as possiblen to get by or do the most they can to interpret their actions o Attitudes – shape the way we make sense of others’ behaviors. o Expectations – anticipation shows interpretation. Our expectations influence our perceptions. If we know a teacher is supposed to be very good, we view them as more credible. o Knowledge – if you know that an instructor speaks sarcastically, you won’t be as likely to take his remarks personally o Self concept – when a person is being teased, the recipient’s self-concept is the greatest factor in determining if the teaser’s motives will be interpreted as friendly or hostile. The way we feel about ourselves influences how we interpret others’ behavior o Relational satisfaction – a behavior that seems positive when you’re happy might seem different when you’re not. Unhappy spouses are more lik
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