Person's Perception

Perception refers to a very complex cognitive process. It is simply a process by which individual organizes and interprets their sensory impression in order to give meaning to environment. Person perception refers to the process by which an individual attribute characteristics or traits to other people. It is concerned with making judgment about other. It relates how an individual perceives other individual. The perception and judgment of a person's actions are significantly influenced by the assumption made about that person's internal state that can be beliefs, motivates, emotions, attitudes etc.

Perception refers to the ways in which a person experiences the world. Perception is the process by which people organize, interpret and experiences the ideas. This process of perception helps us to manage noises, sights, smells, tastes received from the environment and give a meaning to them. Perception is a process that includes both a selection and organizing mechanism. Perceptions vary from person to person. Different people perceive different thing about the same situation differently. But more than that we assign different meanings to what we perceive and the meanings might change one’s perspective or simply make things mean something else.

Perception is the process through which the information the information from outside environment is selected, received, organized and interpreted to make it meaningful to us. This input of meaningful information results in decisions and actions. It is the result of a complex interaction of various senses such as feeling, seeing, hearing, thinking and comparing with known aspects of life in order to make some sense of the world around us. The quality or accuracy of a person’s perception is an important factor in determining the quality of the decisions and action.

“Perception is the phase of operation that takes place after the information being received but one that is well-nigh indistinguishable from it. Though perception has been defined in a variety of ways, it basically refers to the manner in which a person experiences the world.” – Blair J. Kolasa
“Perception is the process of becoming aware of situations of adding meaningful associations to sensations.” – B. Hon Haller Gilemer
“The study of these perceptional processes shows that their functioning is affected by three classes of variables – the objects or events being perceived, the environment in which perception occurs and the individual doing the perceiving.” – H. Joseph Reitz
“Perception can be defined as a process by which individuals organize and interpret their sensory impressions in order to give meaning to their environment..” – Stephen P. Robbins
“Perception can be defined as the process of receiving, selecting, organizing, interpreting, checking and reacting to sensory stimuli or data.” - Udai Pareeks
Perceiving social events and people is more difficult and challenging than perceiving physical objects.

Person's perception is concerned with making judgment about other. It is about how one individual perceives other individuals. The best tool used for explanations of person's perception is Kelly's Attribution Theory. It refers to the act of attributing characteristics or traits to other people. Following are the some principles of perceptions:
  • Observations
  • Organizing
  • Interpretation
  • Response
  • Selection
The major characteristics influencing social perception include:
Characteristics of Perception

1. Characteristics of the Person Perceived

Although, the inference we make about someone’s personality should be based upon the behavior we observe, our perceptions are influenced by a variety of the following physical characteristics.

a) Appearance
The appearance of others not only influences how we perceive their behavior, but also influences how we respond to them. We generally assume that people who are dressed in uniforms are professionals or the technical employees performing their assigned functions. Therefore, we tend to respond to them with respect and difference. Hence, whether we respond to others in a polite or inconsiderate manner will be influenced by their physical appearance. Although two people behave identically, we might describe their behavior quite differently if their physical appearances are different. For example, a well-dressed, middle aged man would probably be described as kind and considerate while a poorly dressed person would probably be described as a cruel and impatient.

b) Communication
we can make inferences about the personalities of the individuals by their talking style or way, tone of voice and precision and clarity in the messages communicated. Tone of voice implies whether individuals are happy, sad, angry or impatient. The topics people choose to discuss not only reveal their educational training but also their personal interests and way of thinking. We can also draw numerous inferences from non-verbal communications such as eye contact, hand motions and posture. As sitting up straight, looking the eye and nodding the head in agreement indicate that the person is interested in us and the person will perceive us as being friendly and concerned.

c) Status
Status refers to the level of esteem attributed to individual and is based primarily on the individual’s position in an organizations. Although two people may behave similarly, status differences between them cause us to perceive or to assign different motivations for their behavior.

2. Characteristics of the Situation

The situational content provides added information about person or even stimulus or it can serve as a filter through which only biased observations are passed. The following two situational contents that influence our perception are:

a) Organizations Structure
The level or department of the organization where the event occurred/occurs is a major factor which influences the perception. In a study, it has been seen that executives perception of the most significant problems are influenced by the departments in which they work. For example, production executive or people perceive production problem as most significant while marketing people perceive marketing problems as most significant.

b) Organizational Culture
Organizational culture consists of the shared beliefs among the organizational members about how things are done and what is important. The organizational culture involves a variety of factors in an organizational setting and our perception is influenced by these varieties of factors.

3. Characteristics of the Perceiver

The interpretation and organizations of the environmental stimuli is also influenced by our own following personal characteristics:

a) Cognitive Complexity
Cognitive complexity allows us to differentiate between people using multiple criteria and thereby increases the accuracy of our perception. If a manager uses greater cognitive complexity in his assessment of his subordinates, the results would be more positive and accurate. Cognitive complexity refers to the way people structure their thinking and reasoning. People with high cognitive complexity analyze the situation or the individuals in a more empirical and complex way. The person having low cognitive complexity or cognitively simple individual overlook subtle differences and utilize a very few categories for analysis.

b) Motivational State
An individual’s perception is influenced much by his temporary motives and emotions. People tend to perceive those things much early, for which they have intense desire. For example, when we are angry or emotionally upset, our perceptual processes can be distorted and simple comment by others can be seriously misinterpreted. Fear is another emotional state that tends to influence the perceptions of the perceiver.

c) Self Concept
Self concept means how people perceive about themselves. The research studies have shown that our perception about ourselves has an enormous influence on how we perceive others.

d) Previous Experience
Our past experience also influences a lot about our perception. Although no event may be exactly the same, having seen an event before, conditions us to see the same thing again. From our past experiences, we develop expectations and these expectations influence our current perceptions. This process is referred to as perceptual set. We are set to perceive an event in a particular way.
You may also like this:

No comments:

Post a Comment