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Chapter 3


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Chapter 3I What Is PerceptionPerception is the process of interpreting the messages of our senses to provide order and meaning to the environment Among the most important perceptions that influence organizational behaviour are the perceptions that organizational members have of each other II Components of PerceptionPerception has three componentsa perceiver a target that is being perceived and some situational context in which the perception is occurring A The Perceiver The perceivers experience motives and emotions can affect his or her perceptions Experience One of the most important influences on perception is experienceour past experiences lead us to develop expectations and these affect current perceptionsdifferences in perception caused by experience can lead to problems within organizations Motivational State Differences in our needs at a given moment and our motivational state can also be a source of conflict within organizations since our motivational states influence our perception and interpretation of events Emotional State Emotional state refers to the particular emotions that an individual feels at a given time Emotions such as anger happiness or fear can and do affect our perceptions In some cases we employ a perceptual defence which occurs when our perceptual system serves to defend us against unpleasant emotions In general we tend to see what we want to see B The Target Our perceptions are also influenced by the targets social status and ambiguity Ambiguity or lack of information about a target leads to a greater need for interpretation and addition C The Situation The context of the situation can greatly influence our perceptions by adding information about the target III Social Identity Theory According to social identity theory people form perceptions of themselves based on their characteristics and memberships in social categories Our sense of self is composed of a personal identity and a social identity Our personal identity is based on our unique personal characteristics such as our interests abilities and traits Social identity is based on our perception that we belong to various social groups such as our gender nationality religion occupation and so on Personal and social identities help us answer the question Who am I We categorize ourselves and others to make sense of and understand the social environment Once a category is chosen we tend to see members of that category as embodying the most typical attributes of that category or what are called prototypes
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