12 Dec 2010
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CHAPTER 3- PERCEPTION, ATTRIBUTION, AND DIVERSITY
What Is Perceptio n?
Def : The process of interpreting the messages of our senses to provide order &
meaning to the environment.
People base their actions on the interpretation of reality that their perceptual
system provides, rather than on reality itself.
Perception has three components:
Perceiver
Experience-> past experience lead the perceiver to develop
expectations and thus affect current perceptions
Emotional State -> perceptual defence: tendency for the
perceptual system to defend the perceiver against unpleasant
emotions ( see what we want to see or hear what we want to
hear
Motivational State
Target -> providing more info about the target doesn't necessarily will
improve perceptual accuracy
Situational context in which perception is occurring add info about the
target
Each component influences perceivers impression or interpretation of target.
Social Identity Theory
A theory that states that ppl form perceptions of themselves based on their
characteristics (personal identity interest, abilities, and traits) and
memberships in social categories (social identity gender, nationality, religion,
occupation, etc. )
Our perception of others is a function of how you categorize ourselves (eg. Student)
and our target (eg. Professor). If the situation changes, so might the categorization
and relation btwn the perceiver and the target (ex. in hostpital, medical students
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might be perceives as doctors by nurses and paitents, but in the classroom, they
are likely to be perceived as medical students by their profs)
Bruners Model of the Perceptual Process: An Example
Demonstrated Characteristics of the Perceptual Process
Perception is selective:
oPerceivers do not use all of the available cues, and those they use are given
special emphasis.
Perceptual constancy:
oThe tendency for the target to be perceived in the same way over time and
across situations.
Perceptual consistency:
oThe tendency to select, ignore, and distort cues so that they fit together to
form a homogenous image of the target.
Perceptual Biases
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Document Summary

Target -> providing more info about the target doesn"t necessarily will improve perceptual accuracy. Situational context in which perception is occurring add info about the target: each component influences perceiver"s impression or interpretation of target. Bruner"s model of the perceptual process: an example. The tendency for a perceiver to rely on first impressions; has a lasting impact; a form of selectivity, and its lasting effects illustrate the operation of constancy: recency. The tendency to rely on recent cues or last impressions: central traits. Reliance on personal characteristics of the target that are of interest to the perceiver. Common trait: phsycial appearance (attractive ppl employment potential, being chosen as business partner, given good performance evaluation , promoted ; taller and more attractive ppl paid more) Theories people have about which personality traits go together. Hardworking ppl will be honest; ppl of average intelligence be most friendly: projection. Attribution of one"s own thoughts & feelings to the target.

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