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Chapter 3

Chapter 3 BU288.docx

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Ping Zhang

BU288 Chapter 3 Perception, Attribution, and Diversity Week 3 What is Perception? -Perception is the process of interpreting the messages of our senses to provide order and meaning to the environment. -Perception helps sort out and organize the complex and varied input received by our senses of sight, smell, touch, taste, and hearing -The key word in this definition is interpreting -Some of the most important perceptions that influence organizational behaviour are the perceptions that organizational members have of each other Components of Perception -It has three components: a perceiver, a target that is being received, and some situational context in which the perception is occurring The Perceiver -The most important characteristic is experience -Our needs unconsciously influence out perceptions by causing us to perceive what w wish to perceive -Ex. Lonely university students might misperceive the most innocent actions of members of the opposite sex as indicating interest in them. -Emotions such as anger, happiness, or fear can influence our perceptions -Perceptual defence is when out perceptual system serves to defend us against unpleasant emotions The Target -Perception involves interpretation and the addition of meaning to the target, and ambiguous targets are especially susceptible to interpretation and addition -The perceiver does not or cannot always use all the information provided by the target The Situation -Every instance of perception occurs in some situational context, and this context can affect that one perceives. Social Identity Theory -According to social identity theory, people form perceptions of themselves based on their characteristics and memberships in social categories -As a result, our sense of self is composed of a personal identity and a social identity -Our personal identity is based on our unique personal characteristics -Our social identity is based on our perceptions that we belong to various social groups -Social identity theory is useful for understanding stereotyping and discrimination A Model of the Perceptual Process MODEL EXAMPLE Unfamiliar target encountered New co-worker Openness to target cues Observation; search for information Familiar cues encountered Co-worker is Stanford graduate with good grades Target categorized Co-worker is a good man with great potential Cue selectively Co-workers poor performance ignored or distorted Categorization strengthened Co-worker is still good man with great potentialBU288 Chapter 3 Perception, Attribution, and Diversity Week 3 Basic Biases in Person Perception -We form impressions of others that are susceptible to a number of perceptual biases Primary and Recency Effects -We tend to rely on he cues that we encounter early in a relationship -Primacy effect the tendency for a perceiver to rely in early cues or first impressions -Recency effect the tendency for a perceiver to rely on recent cues or last impressions Reliance on Central Traits -Early cues do not receive equal weight -Central traits personal characteristics of a target person that are of particular interest to a perceiver -The centrality of traits depends on the perceivers interests and the situation Implicit Personality Theories -Implicit personality theories personal theories that people have about which personality characteristics go together -Ex. Hardworking people are expected to be honest Projection -Projection the tendency for perceivers to attribute their own thoughts and feelings to others -People with similar backgrounds or interests often do think and feel similarly Stereotyping -Stereotyping - the tendency to generalize about people in a certain social category and ignore variations among them -Three specific aspects to stereotyping: -We distinguish some category of people (college professors)
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