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Chapter 3

COMM 151 Chapter Notes - Chapter 3: Dispositional Attribution, Job Performance, Attitude Change

Course Code
COMM 151
Christopher Miners

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COMM 151 Chapter 3
Perception, Attribution, and Diversity
What is Perception
Perception: The process of interpreting the messages of our sense to provide order
and meaning to the environment
Helps sort out and organize complex and varied input received by our 5 senses
Base their actions on the interpretation of reality that their perceptual systems proves
rather than reality itself
Components of Perception
The Perceiver
Experience needs, and emotions that affect his or her perceptions of a target
Influences their impressions of a target is experiences
Lead the perceiver to develop expectations and these expectations affect current
Needs unconsciously influence our perceptions by causing us to perceive what
we wish to perceive
Emotions such as anger, happiness, or fear can influence our perceptions
Perceptual Defence: The tendency for the perceptual system to defend the
perceiver against unpleasant emotions
The Target
Involves interpretation and the addition of meaning to the target
Ambiguous targets are susceptible to interpretation
The Situation
Every instance of perception in some situational connect the context can affect
what one perceives
Social Identity Theory
A theory that states that people form perceptions of themselves based on their
characteristics and memberships in social categories
Personal identity is based on our unique personal characteristics such as interests,
abilities, and traits
Social identity is based on perceptions what we belong to various social groups such as
gender, nationality, religion and occupation
Helps us understand how components of the perceptual system opeart in the formation
of perceptions
Perceive people in terms of the attributes and characteristics that we associate with
their social category relative to other categories
Perceptions of others is a function of how you categorize yourself (ex. Student) and
your target (ex. Your professor)

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COMM 151 Chapter 3
Perception, Attribution, and Diversity
Model of Perceptual Process
Perceiver encounters an unfamiliar target, perceiver is open to the informational cures
contained in the target and the situation surrounding it
Unfamiliar state the perceiver needs information to which base perceptions of the
target and will actively seek out cues to resolve this ambiguity
Searches out cues that conform the categorization of target
Perception is selective they do not use all available cues those used are given special
Our perception is efficient and this efficiency can aid/hinder our perceptual accuracy
Works to paint a constant picture of the target
Constancy refers to the tendency for the target to be perceived in the same way over
time or across situations
Basic Biases in Person Perception
Primacy and Recency Effects
Fast formation is to rely on cues that we encounter early in the relationship
Primacy Effect: The tendency for a perceiver to rely on early cues or first
Worker who can favourable impress their boss on the first few days as in
advantageous position due to primacy
Recency Effect: The tendency for a perceiver to rely on recent cues or last
Reliance on Central Traits
Central Traits: Personal characteristics of a target person that are a particular interest
to a perceiver
Physical appearance is common trait related to variety of job related outcomes
Attractive people are more likely to fare better than unattractive people in
terms of a variety of job-related outcomes
Implicit Personality Theories
Personal theories that people have about which personality characteristics go
Expect hard working people to be also honest
Average intelligence to be friendly
Projection: Perceives to attribute their own thoughts and feelings to others
Lead to perceptual differences
People with similar backgrounds or interest do think and feel similarly
Stereotypes: Cognitive schemas representing broad social categories as sex, race, age,
and nationality
Stereotyping: Tendency to generalize about people in a certain social category and
ignore variations among them
Tendency to generalize about people in a certain social category and ignore
variations among them

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COMM 151 Chapter 3
Perception, Attribution, and Diversity
Distinguish some category of people
Assume that individuals in this category have certain traits
Perceive everybody in this category possess these traits
Incorrect stereotypes help us process information about others quickly and
Power and Stereotypes
Lower power groups are seen as homogenous
Dependent on high power groups to get promotions hence you
have to find out what they like and what they dislike
Get to know them better
Higher power groups seen as more heterogeneous
Issue of dependence more dependent on higher power groups to
get things done,
Higher power groups have influence on your life which is why you
don’t pay attention to low power group
Self-Serving high power groups to propagate stereotypes since
they preserve status quo so they are the primary beneficiary
(limited) contact and exposure
Because higher level executives mingle with their own kind even
though there is more less power and less of high power
Persistence of Stereotypes
Stereotype: Women are emotional and dependent
Power Control, independence, confidence, and pride
Powerlessness no control, dependence, insecurity, and negative emotions
Women are not in as many leadership positions
Attribution: Perceiving Causes and Moves
Attribution: Process by which causes or motives are assigned to explain people’s
Rewards and punishments in organizations are based on judgments about what
really caused a target person to behave a certain way
Dispositional Attributes: Explanations for behaviour based on actor’s personality or
Situational Attributes: Explanations for behaviour based on actors external situation
or environment
Consistency Cues
Attribution cues that reflect how consistently a person engages in a behaviour
over time
Tend to perceive behaviour that person performs regularly indicates of their
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