MSCI211 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Fundamental Attribution Error, Selective Perception, Emotional Labor

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Chapter 2: Perception, Personality, and Emotions
Perception is the process by which individuals select, organize and interpret their sensory
impressions in order to give meaning to their environment can be different from objective
Why is it important to OB? Because people’s behaviour is based on their perception of
what reality is, not on reality itself.
o The world as it is perceived is the world that behaviorally important.
Factors that influence perception:
o The situation: time, work setting, social setting. The time at which we see an
object or event can influence attention
o The target: novelty, motion, sounds, size, background because we don’t look
at targets in isolation, the relationship of a target to its background influences
o The perceiver: attitudes, motives, interests, experience, expectations.
Attribution Theory tries to explain the ways we judge people differently , depending on the
cause we attribute to a given behaviour try to make sense of atypical behaviour by an
individual we consider whether the individual is responsible for the behaviour (the cause is
internal) or whether something outside the individual caused the behaviour (external)
Reply on three rules about behaviour (distinctiveness (whether an individual act
similarly across a variety of situation), consensus (how an individual’s behaviour
compares with that of others in the same situation everyone facing similar situation
shows consensus), consistency (does the person response the same way over time?)
Fundamental attribution error: the tendency to underestimate the influence of external
factors and overestimate the influence of internal factors when making judgments
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 (not possible to see everything around us): people’s selective
interpretation of what they see based on their interests, background, experience and
When we draw a general impression about an individual on the basis of a single
acteristic such as intelligence, likeability, or appearance, a halo effect operates.
The tendency to attribute our own characteristic to others is called projection
Heuristics: judgment shortcuts in decision making
Prejudice can lead to negative consequences in workplace (dislike of a person or group)
Self-fulfilling prophecy describes how an individual’s behaviour is determined by other’s
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