CH3 IN CLASS NOTES
Factors that influence perception
Situation, perceiver, target
Social identity theory
Attribution theory: deciding if behavior is internal(dispositional) or
3 attribution cues
Perceiver-need to see patterns, causation
What is perception?
The process of interpreting the messages of our senses to provide order
and meaning to the environment
• People base their actions on the interpretation of reality that their perceptual
system provides, rather than on reality itself
• It’s about attribute to you, through different gender, color and categorize
people into different box
Components of perception
• It affects the perceptions of a target.
• My box is based on my experience, if I have lots of experience of being
negative in organization.
• How needs affect, you perceive what you want
• Emotion, if you have positive effect, you will have internal control, proactivity
• Interpretation and the addition of meaning – basic human process.
• Different people
• Every instance of perception occurs in some situational context. Yvette Ye
• This context affects perception.
• The situation adds information about the target.
Social Identity Theory: Perceiving Self and Others
• People form perceptions of themselves based on their characteristics and
memberships in social categories.
• Our sense of self is composed of a personal identity and a social identity.
– Personal identity is based on our unique characteristics (e.g.,
– Social identity is based on our perception that we belong to various
social groups (e.g., gender).
– Personal and social identities help us answer the question: “Who am
• Once categorized, we perceive ourselves and others as embodying the most
typical attributes of a category or what are called “prototypes.”
• If you see some animal you never seen before. If it has wings, feather, can fly you
can probably guess it’s some sort of bird.
• That’s how we group strange object/person into certain categories.
• You probably don’t know any background of a stranger, you see pieces of
information(he graduates from Laurier BBA) and you will apply all the attributes of
BBA to him.
Social Identity Theory
• In-group/out-group effect
– In-group favoritism
• The tendency to respond more positively to our in-groups
• E.g., cliques in school
• Ex: BBA students are welcomed among our group (BBA
– Out-group homogeneity
• The tendency to view members of out-groups as more similar to
each other than we see members of in-group
• Ex: Non-BBA for us is like all similar people. We don’t differentiate
them. We don’t treat them as well and we apply all non-BBA
attributes to them.
– Black-sheep effect
• The tendency of a group to treat or evaluate members of one’s
own group who behave in a way such as to jeopardize the group’s
image. More harshly than similarly unlikable members of another
• One bad guy in our group will be blamed to hell…..
• We see all detail in group but not out group
• Example: Yvette Ye
Competition worsen the in-group and out-group
When people were divided into groups, conflicts occur.
o Could the hostility be undone?
Hostility was removed by lots of cooperation
between two hostile groups.
• Associate ourselves in groups, not in out-group, such as nations, Caucasians,
psychologically different ourselves.
• People judge likable in group members more positively than similar out group
members, they associate with you well
• Judge unlikable in group members similar out group members, because they
won’t associate with you
Bruner’s Model or the perceptual process
• When a perceiver encounters an unfamiliar target, the perceiver is very open
to the informational cues contained in the target and the situation surrounding
• Information is needed on which to base perceptions of the target and to
resolve any ambiguity.
o University vs. college, social identity, we look for cues to search for
information to that person, good group equal to good grade equal to
good family etc…
Unfamiliar target encountered
Opening to target cues
We are very open to all sort of information
Familiar cues encountered
We find a person that is also from WLU BBA
o Once we realize the familiar cue, we tend to put them into the Laurier
BBA graduate attributes on him.
o Good man with good potential
o We only pay attention to the good aspects
o Even if performance is bad, we find excuses for them.
Categorization strengthened Yvette Ye
Bruner’s Model of the perceptual process
• Environmental Stimuli Sensory overload can occur when there are too many
stimuli for a person to process
• Not all available cues are used and those that are used are thus given
• Look for cues you want and put in the box
• The tendency for the target to be perceived in the same way over time or
• Why, we want to keep people in this category, we can consistence for that
kind of people.
• The tendency to select, ignore and distort cues to fit together to form a
homogeneous image of the target.
Some basic biases in person perception
1. PRIMACY EFFECT
• The tendency for a perceiver to rely on early cues or first impressions.
o First look have impact on how you think about this person
2. RECENCY EFFECT
• The tendency for a perceiver to rely on recent cues or last impressions. Yvette Ye
o People remember the first and last impression.
3. CENTRAL TRAITS 特特
• Personal characteristics of a target person that are of particular interest to a
4. IMPLICIT PERSONALITY THEORIES
• Personal theories that people have about which personality characteristics go
• The tendency for perceivers to attribute their own thoughts and feelings to
6. Stereotyping 特特特特
• Stereotyping: a type of perceptual bias
– We distinguish some category of people
– We assume that the individuals in this category have certain traits
– We perceive that everyone in this category possesses these traits but
ignore the variations
• Can you list some stereotypes?
– Dumb Blonde
• Several factors work to reinforce inaccurate stereotypes
– Efficient information processing
– Perceptual selectivity
The process by which causes or motives are assigned to explain people’s behavior.
• DISPOSITIONAL ATTRIBUTIONS
– Explanations for behavior based on an actor’s personality or intellect.
• SITUATIONAL ATTRIBUTIONS
– Explanations for behavior based on an actor’s external situation or
You saw a professor in the hall and she didn’t say hi to you
o Internal attribution, you blame her for not greeting you
o External attribution, you blame the situation, maybe she’s busy and not paying
You see a professor in the halls all the time and she rarely says hi to you
You probably make internal attribution because this happens all the time, Yvette Ye
consistence ignorance = no respect = we tend to make internal attribution
You saw a professor in the hall and she didn’t say hi to you. Neither did other
professors in the hall.
o Blame myself = blame situation = external. As long as not the target, we treat it
as situational reasons
o Because myself, maybe they have some events going there, maybe the culture
or climate governing the greeting issue.
o When everybody does the same thing, the same behavior is consistent among
many people, we tend to blame situation
You saw a professor in the hall and she didn’t say hi to you. She does say hi to you
in other situations
o Clearly, we blame situation, she actually greets people normally, this
occasionally behavior is not consistent across different situations
Attribution Theory-Cues *Cue Combinations and Resulting Attribution
• Attribution cues that reflect how consistently a person engages in some
behavior over time.
• Whether the behavior is observed across time.
• Engaging in behavior consistently or occasionally
• High consistency – dispositional attribution
Must be her problem because she does this all the time
o We blame it on the target
• Attribution cues that reflect how a person’s behavior compares with that of
• Whether the behavior is only engaged in this person or others do the same
• Across people
• Ex. If she’s the only professor that does this, you blame her, if everyone else
does the same thing, you tend to blame the situation.
• High consensus – situational attribution
o It’s not the unique behavior of the person
o We blame the situation
• Attribution cues that reflect the extent to which a person engages in some Yvette Ye
behavior across a variety of situations.
• Whether the behavior can be observed across situations
• High distinctiveness – situational attribution
o She didn’t say hi to you only in the hallway
Tom didn’t go to your group meeting today
o He always miss the meeting, then HE’S DOOMED!!!!
o He’s the only one, he will be blamed!!!
o If other members didn’t come too, then we blame situation
o If he attends the classes and go to other meetings
o THEN HE’S blamed!!!
o Recall the last time you did very well on an exam
• People tend to credit themselves when they gain high score
o Recall the last time you did very poorly on an exam
• People tend to blame situation, blame exam is too difficult, Professor didn’t
mark it very well.
• Less likely to blame themselves that they didn’t study enough.
Bias in Attribution (3)
Fundamental Attribution Error
• The tendency to overemphasize dispositional explanations for behavior at the
expense of situational explanations.
• When you see some people doing something, you tend to think first it’s individual
• When someone lies to you, your first reaction is that person is a bad one and you will
stay away from him.
• Tend to neglect the situational factors on behaviors.
Actor Observer Effect
• The propensity for actors and observers to view the causes of the actor’s
behavior differently.or the same event, actors, doers, observers, actors tend to
make more situational attributions than observers.
• If you lie to your friends, families, you know why you do this and the situational
reasons cause you to do this. But people who accept the lie will think about
dispositional attributions and ignore the situation. Yvette Ye
• The tendency to take credit for successful outcomes and to deny responsibility
• When you fail, you blame others, when you success, you credit yourself
• Format of the quiz is unfamiliar, professor didn’t address question, textbook is too
• Guys are more likely to credit themselves; guys tend to say they are smart when
they ace exams!
• Cultural difference?
o Cross culture study found that western people tend to enhance
themselves, they try to present themselves better than their actual self
than the reality
o Eastern Asian countries, self-criticism culture, people tend to look for their
own mistakes, people try to criticize themselves a lot.
• Differences among recruits and employees in characteristics, such as gender,
race, age, religion, cultural background, physical ability and sexual orientation.
• Value diversity not just tolerate it
• Stereotypes – a major barrier to valuing diversity
o Nature: managerial characteristics /Female occupations, e.g., construction,
accounting, nurse, sales
o Nature: capacity for performance & potential for development (Assumptions
about physical, psychological, and intellectual capabilities, e.g., computers &
Race and ethnicity
– Ability and personality
• Evaluate and set diversity goals Yvette Ye
o Important to others, may be not
o Whether diversity can make a difference in their company
o If they only manufacture toys, diversity probably doesn’t make a
• Rethink the recruitment and selection process
o Organizations tend to go to same places to find job opportunities which