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Chapter 2

COMM 292 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Conscientiousness, Fundamental Attribution Error, Stereotype


Department
Commerce
Course Code
COMM 292
Professor
Angela Kelleher
Chapter
2

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COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour
Chapter 2
Perception Defined
Perception: how individuals organize/interpret their impressions in different environments
o Perception can be much different from the objective reality
People's behaviour is based on perception of reality, not on reality itself
o The world that is perceived is the world that is behaviourally important
Factors Influencing Perception
The Perceiver:
Perceiver: an individual that looks at a target and attempts to interpret what he/she sees
o The interpretation is heavily influenced by the perceiver's personal characteristics
o Characteristics include attitude, personality, motives, interests, experiences etc.
All shape the way we perceive an event
The Target:
A target's characteristics also affect what is perceived by the target
o Motions, sounds, size and other characteristics of a target shape how they are seen
o The relationship of a target to its background also influences perception
The Situation:
The context (time, location, light etc.) we see objects or events is also important
o The situation may change and therefore the perception
Neither the perceiver nor the target have changed
Perceptual Errors
Techniques have been developed to better manage perceiving/interpreting other's actions
o Make accurate perceptions rapidly and provide valid data for making predictions
o There are errors that distort the perception process
Attribution Theory:
Attribution theory: judging people differently based on the meaning given to behaviour
o We observe what seems like atypical behaviour by an individual and make sense of it
o Cause is internal: whether the individual is responsible for the behaviour
Behaviour is believed to be resulting the person
o Cause is external: whether something outside the individual caused the behaviour
Behaviour is believed to result from outside causes
Distinctiveness:
Distinctiveness: whether an individual acts similarly across a variety of situations
o External attribution: behaviour is unusual
o Internally caused: behaviour is not unusual
Consensus:
Consensus: how an individual's behaviour compares with others in the same situation

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COMM 292: Organizational Behaviour
o If an individual responds like everyone else, their behaviour shows consensus
If consensus is high, the wrong doing or odd would be attributed externally
Consistency:
Consistency: whether an individual has been acting in the same way over time
How Attributions Get Distorted:
There are usually errors or biases that distort attributions
Fundamental attribution error: when we judge the behaviour of others, we tend to
overestimate the influence of external factors and overestimate the influence of internal, or
personal factors
Self-serving bias: attribute one's own success to internal factors and failure to external
o Individuals tend to overestimate their own good behaviour and underestimate others
Selective Perception:
Characteristics that make a person/object stand will change how they are perceived
o More likely to notice objects that you own or that look familiar
Selective perception: selective interpretation of what is seen based on backgrounds etc.
o Allows us to speed-read others, but has risks of inaccurate conclusions
Halo Effect:
Halo effect: when we draw general impressions of people based on one characteristic
o Based on intelligence, likeability, appearance and others
A single trait influences the overall impression of the person being judged
Contrast Effect:
Contrast effect: reaction of one person is influenced by other people recently encountered
o Most often we do not evaluate a person in isolation (job interviews etc.)
Projection:
Projection: attributing one's own characteristics to other people
o Judging others based on the fact that they are similar to us
When people observe others similar to themselves, their perception is naturally corrected
Stereotyping:
Judging someone on the basis of our perception of the group to which they belong
o Generalizations allow us to simplify decisions
o Heuristics: judgment shortcuts in decision making
Stereotypes may only provide a little bit of truth when applied to an individual
o Can lead to negative reactions, such as prejudice
Prejudice:
Prejudice: an unfounded dislike of a person/group based on their belonging to a group
o Dislike based on religion, state, ethnicity etc.
o Can lead to negative consequences in the workplace, such as discrimination
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