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Chapter 3

MGHB02H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 3: Dispositional Attribution, Subjective Constancy, Social Identity Theory

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Phani Radhakrishnan

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Chapter 3
What Is Perception?
- Perception: the process of interpreting the messages of our senses to provide order and meaning to the
- It helps to sort out and organize the complex and varied input received by our senses of sight, smell,
touch, taste, and hearing.
Components of Perception
1. The Perceiver
- The perceiver’s experience, needs, and emotions can affect his/her perceptions of a target
- Past experiences lead the perceiver to develop expectations, and these expectations affect current
- Perceptual defence: the tendency for the perceptual system to defend the perceiver against unpleasant
2. The Target
- Ambiguous targets especially susceptible to interpretation and addition
3. The Situation
- Situational context can affect what one perceives
Social Identity Theory
- It is a theory that states that people form perceptions of themselves based on their personal
characteristics and memberships in social categories
- We perceive people in terms of the attributes and characteristics that we associate with their social
category relative to other categories (e.g. Medical students are perceived as doctors by patients, but they
are perceived as students by their professors)
A Model of the Perceptual Process
- Perception is selective. Perceivers do not use all the available cues, and those they do use are thus given
special emphasis.
- Our perceptual system works to paint a constant picture of the target. Perceptual constancy refers to the
tendency for the target to be perceived in the same way over time or across situations.
- Perceptual consistency refers to the tendency to select, ignore, and distort cues in such a manner that
they fit together to form homogeneous pic of the target
Basic Biases in Person Perception
Primacy and Recency Effects
- Primacy effect: the tendency for a perceiver to rely on early cues or first impressions. It often has a
lasting effect.
- Recency effect: the tendency for a perceiver to rely on recent cues or last impressions
Reliance on Central Traits
- Central trait: personal characteristics of a target that are of particular interest to a perceiver (e.g.
appearance and height)
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