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Ch 2 - Perceptions, Personality, and Behavior.docx
Ch 2 - Perceptions, Personality, and Behavior.docx

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University of British Columbia
COMM 292
Leah Sheppard

Perceptions, Personality, and Behavior Chapter 2 PERCEPTIONS Perceptions Defined  Process by which individuals organize and interpret their impressions in order to give meaning to their environment  Perception ≠ reality  People’s behavior is based on their perception of what reality is, not reality itself Factors influencing Perception  The Perceiver o Interpretation is heavily influenced by the perceiver’s personal characteristics (attitudes, personality, motives, interests, past experiences & expectations)  The Target o Target’s characteristics also affect what is perceived.  Novelty, motion, sounds, size, background, proximity o Target is not looked at in isolation, the relationship of a target it its background influences perception.  The Situation o Context in which we see objects or events o Time, work setting, social setting Perceptual Errors Attribution Theory – when we observe what seems like atypical behavior by an individual, we attempt to determine whether it is internally (under the person’s control) or externally (forced into the behavior by the situation) caused  Distinctiveness – considers whether an individual acts similarly across a variety of situations  Consensus – considers if everyone faced with a similar situation responds in the same way  Consistency – considers whether the individual has been acting in the same way over time How Attributions Get Distorted: o Fundamental Attribution Error – when we judge the behavior or people, we tend to underestimate the influence of external factors and overestimate internal factors o Self-Serving Bias – tendency for individuals to attribute their own successes to internal factors and failures on external factors (we overestimate our own good behavior, and underestimate the good behavior of others) Selective Perception – selective interpretation of what they see based on their interest, background, experience and attitudes; we cannot take in all that we observe, so we take only bits and pieces; “speed read” others Halo Effect – drawing a general impression of an individual on the basis of a single characteristic Contrast Effect – our reaction to one person is often influenced by other people we have recently encountered; we don’t evaluate a person in isolation Projection – attributing one’s own characteristics to other people; perceiving a person according to what “I” am like, rather than what he/she really is like Stereotyping – judging someone on the basis of one’s perception of the group to which that person belongs; simplifying a complex world; generalizing inaccurately  Heuristics – judgment shortcuts in decision making  Prejudice – unfounded dislike of a person or group based on their belonging to a particular stereotyped group (religion, ethnicity…) Why Do Perception and Judgment Matter?  Hiring decisions, interviews  Performance appraisal Self-Fulfilling Prophecy (aka Pygmalion Effect)  Proposes that a person will behave in ways consistent with how he or she is perceived by others  Expectations become reality PERSONALITY What is Personality?  Personality – stable patterns of behavior and consistent internal states that determine how an individual reacts to and interacts with others  Growth and development of a person’s whole psychological system  Measurable traits that a person exhibits Measuring Personality  Personality tests used in hiring processes  Also to know how to effectively manage the people working for them  Problem: Impression management – “faking it” on a personality test to make a good impression  Problem: Accuracy – when w perfectly good candidate was just in a bad mood when taking the test Personality Determinants  Predetermined at birth vs. result of interaction with his/her environment vs. the sitation  Heredity – factors determined at conception o Physical stature, facial attractiveness, gender, temperament, muscle composition, reflexes, energy level, biological rhythms o Argues that personality depends on a person’s genes o Blood-related siblings are more likely to have similar personalities (in comparison to unrelated people) Personality Traits  Definition: enduring characteristics that describe an individual’s behavior  The more consistent the characteristic, the more frequently it occurs in diverse situations, the more important that trait is in describing the person.  The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator – personality test that taps 4 characteristics and classifies people into 1-16 personality types o Extraverted (outgoing, sociable) / Introverted (quiet and shy) – where we direct our energy when dealing with people and things o Sensing (prefer routine and order) / Intuitive (rely on unconscious processes) – how we process information o Thinking (reason and logic to handle problems) / Feeling (rely on values and emotions) o Judging (controlled, structured, ordered) / Perceiving (flexible, spontaneous) o Problem: there is no in-between, people can sometimes be extraverted and introverted to some degree  The Big Five Personality Model – encompass most of the significant variation in human personality (see chart on p52) o Extraversion – degree to which a person is sociable, talkative, and assertive; comfort level with relationships  High: more freely express their feelings, happier; do better in jobs that require significant interaction, more assertive  Downside: more impulsive than introverts, engage in risky behavior o Agreeableness – person’s propensity to defer to others; degree to which a person is good-natured, cooperative and trusting  Agreeable individuals are usually others’ first choices when choosing groups or partners  Better liked than disagreeable individuals  More compliant, rule abiding = no to organizational deviance  Downside: lower levels of career success (poor negotiators) o Conscientiousness – measure of reliability; degree to which a person is responsible, dependable, persistent and achievement-oriented  Most consistently related to job performance  High conscientiousness = higher levels of job knowledge (put more effort in) = higher level of job performance (performance or
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