HROB 2100 Review

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Human Resources and Organizational Behaviour
HROB 2100
Sara Mann

location, light, heat, or any number of situational factors. Perceptual Errors Some of the errors that distort the perception process are attribution theory, selective perception, halo effect, contrast effects, projection, and stereotyping. Attribution Theory • Attribution Theory is the theory that when we observe what seems like atypical behaviour by and individual, we attempt to determine whether it is internally or externally caused. o Internally caused behaviour is believed to be under the personal control of the individual. o Externally caused behaviour is believed to result from outside causes. • In trying to determine if behaviour is internally or externally caused, we rely on three rules about behaviour: (1) distinctiveness, (2) consensus, and (3) consistency. Distinctiveness • Distinctiveness: A behavioural rule that considers whether an individual acts similarly across a variety of situations. o Is the students always under performing? Or is the student's behaviour in one situation uncharacteristic of behaviour usually shown in other situations? If the behaviour is unusual then the observer is likely to make an external attribution. If it is not unusual, the observer will probably judge it as internally caused. Consensus • Consensus: A behavioural rule that considers if everyone faced with a similar situation responds in the same way. • If everyone who is faced with a similar situation responds in the same way, we can say the behaviour shows consensus. From an attribution perspective, if consensus is high, you would be expected to give an external attribution to the situation. Consistency • Consistency: A behavioural rule that considers whether the individual has been acting in the same way over time. o If a student is usually on time for class, being 10 minutes late will be perceived differently from the way it is when the student is routinely late. How Attributions Get Distorted One of the more interesting findings from attribution theory is that there are errors or biases that distort attributions. • Fundamental attribution error: The tendency to underestimate the influence of external factors and overestimate the influence of internal factors when making judgements about the behaviour of others. • Self-serving bias: The tendency for individuals to attribute their own success to internal factors while putting the blame for failures on external factors. Selective Perception
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