Chapter Three: Perception and Personality
Section 1: factors that influence perception and how to manage our perceptions in the work place
Section 2: characteristics that shape our personality and the influence of these characteristics have on our
interpretation of the workplace situations.
Introduction to perception and personality in the workplace
•Martin Seligman’s book Learned Optimism suggests how we perceive a situation can influence our
behavioural response to situations. He distinguishes between traits exhibited by an optimistic
person and those exhibited by a pessimistic person, suggesting that anyone can learn how to be
more positive in their interactions by identifying and using many of the strengths and personality
traits we already posses, such as humour, kindness, and generosity – concept he calls as “ learned
•Optomists are more successful at work and in school.
Social perception and why it is important in the workplace
•Perception involves the way we view the world around us. Involves 5 senses. Primary vehicle
through which we come to understand ourselves and our surroundings.
•Social perception is the process of interpreting information about another person
Factors that influence our perception of others. (pg 69)
1.Characteristics of ourselves as perceiver
•Familiarity; does not always mean we are accurate about our perceptions
•Attitude; eg) doubting women’s ability to negotiate
•Mood; we remember more, positive impressions
•Cognitive structures; an individual’s pattern of thinking; allows individual to perceive
multiple characteristics of another person rather than attending a few traits
•Self-concept; when we think good of ourselves, we think good of others
2.Characteristics of target person we are perceiving
•Physical features; height, weight, estimated age, race and gender. Loud person dresses
outlandishly. Physical attractiveness influences favourability.
•Verbal communications; topics, tone, accent, and make judgments based on input
•Non-verbal communications; eye contact, facial expressions, body movements, and posture
are all deciphered by perceiver in an attempt to form an impression of the target. Intentions
of the target are inferred by the perceiver.