There is a direct relationship between the personality traits we posses, our perception, and our
Social perception: the process of interpreting information about another person.
Social perception model: characteristics of the perceiver: familiarity with target, attitudes,
mood, self concept, cognitive structure. Characteristics of the target: physical appearance,
verbal communication, nonverbal cues, intentions. Characteristics of the situation: context of
the interaction, strength of situational cues.
Barriers: selective perception, stereotyping, first impression error, projection, self fulfilling
Three major categories of factors influence our perception of another person: characteristics of
ourselves as perceivers, characteristics of the target person we perceive, and characteristics of
the situation in which the interaction takes place.
Mood can have a strong influence on the way we perceive someone.
Cognitive structure: an individual’s pattern of thinking
Self concept: how we feel about ourselves.
Nonverbal communication conveys a great deal of information about the target
Discounting principle: the assumption that an individual’s behaviour is accounted for by the
Impression management: the process by which individuals try to control the impressions others
have of them.
Several techniques to control others’ impressions: self enhancing, namedropping, managing
one’s appearance, self descriptions/statements, other enhancing (commonly used by disabled
people to make others feel comfortable around them), grating favours, flattery.
Selective perception: the process of selecting information that supports our individual
viewpoints while discounting information that threatens our viewpoints.
Stereotype: a generalization about a group of people.
First impression error: the tendency to form lasting opinions about an individual based on initial
Halo effect: a perceptual barrier that can result from basing one impression of a person on one
Projection: overestimating the number of people who share our own beliefs, values and
Self fulfilling prophecy: the situation in which our expectations about people affect our
interaction with them in such a way that our expectations are fulfilled.
Attribution theory: a theory that explains how individuals pinpoint the causes of their own
behaviour and that of others.
Fundamental attribution error: the tendency to make attributions to internal causes when
focusing on someone else’s behaviour.
Self serving bias: the tendency to attribute one’s own success to internal causes and one’s
failures to external causes. Power freak: the need to dominate situations; strive to enhance their status, showing little or no
regard for others. Do not take responsibility for their actions, manipulative.
Personality: a relatively stable set of characteristics that influence an individual’s behaviour.
Psychodynamic theory: the personality theory that emphasizes the unconscious determinants of
Trait theory: the personality theory that states that in order to understand indivi