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Presented by:DEEPAK PRAKASH Roll No.- 14 MBA- 2nd Semester (2012-13)

Perception Why managers study Perception? Factors influencing Perception Perceptual Process - Perceptual Mechanism Judging Others - Attribution theory - Frequently used shortcuts in Judging Others - Specific applications of shortcuts in organizations How to develop perceptual skills?

Perception is a process by which individuals select, organize and interpret their sensory impressions in order to give meaning to their environment. However, what one perceives can be substantially different from objective reality. The critical question in the study of perception is, Why the same world is viewed differently by different people? The answer, of course, is quite obvious. That is, psychologically, the world is not same for different people


The surprising point is that most of the people do not see reality. What they do is that they interpret what they see and call it reality. Most of our acts are primarily based on our perceptions.

Why is perception important in the study of OB? Simply because peoples behaviour is based on their perception of what reality is, not on reality itself. The world as it is perceived is the world that is behaviourally important.


A manager is able to distinguish between a perceived world and the real world. He should know how the perceptions develop and have a deep-seated appeal to the employees. Managers need to recognize that the employees react to perceptions, not reality. Manager should be more concerned with what others perceive about his actions, rather than his own actions.


The factors that influence perceptual mechanism are of two kinds- internal and external. 1. Internal factors- Among internal factors the most important are the following. (a) Needs and desires (b) Personality (c) Experience

2. External factors- Perception is also influenced or affected by the characteristics of perceived object or event or person. These include the following. (a) Size (b) Intensity (c) Frequency (d) Status (e) Contrast

It is widely known that output is a function of input. Similarly perceptual inputs are first received, then processed by the perceiver and the resultant output becomes the base of the behaviour. The model has four variables: Inputs: Perceived inputs are the objects, events, people etc. that are received by the perceiver. Process: The received inputs are processes through selection, organization and interpretation. Outputs: Through the processing mechanism, the output is derived. These outputs may be the feelings, actions, attitudes etc. Behaviour: Behaviour is dependent on these perceived outputs. The perceivers behaviour, in turn, generates responses from the perceived and these responses give rise to a new set of inputs.


There are three well noted mechanisms of perceptionselection, organization and interpretation 1. Selection- Individual cannot assimilate everything they observe so they engage in selectivity. Selection is the first fundamental step in perceptual process. A person prefers only a certain stimuli to take in that is most relevant to him. Selectivity is an important means of handling the perceptual overload. Individuals collect bits and pieces of information, not randomly, but selectively depending on the interests, background, experience, attitudes of the perceiver.


Selective perception involves two psychological principles: (a). Figure Ground Principle- In the perceptual field certain factors are considered significant and give meaning to the person, and certain others which are whether unimportant for a person or cannot be studied are left as insignificant. The meaningful and significant portion is called the figure and the insignificant or meaningless portion is labelled as ground.


(b). Relevancy- Relevancy is one important criterion for selective perception. People selectively perceive things that are relevant to their needs and desires. The more clearly an event is related to us, the greater will be its effect on perception. 2. Organization- The perceived inputs are organized into meaningful pictures to the perceiver. This process is a also labelled as gestalt process. There are several ways people organize the perceived inputs, objects, eventsviz. grouping, closure and simplification.

(a). Grouping- People or things can be grouped on the basis of similarity or proximity. The greater the similarity in the events the greater is the probability that we tend to perceive them as a group. Further, objects that have close proximity are also grouped under one head howsoever they are unrelated. (b). Closure- People when faced with incomplete information have a tendency to fill in the gaps themselves. When presented with a set of stimuli that are incomplete, people fill in the missing parts and make it more meaningful.

(c). Simplification- Whenever people are overloaded with information they try to simplify it to make it more meaningful and understandable. Simplification occurs when the perceiver subtracts less salient information and concentrates on important one. 3. Interpretation- Without the interpretation of the perceived events the perceived world would be meaningless. Interpretation is subjective and judgemental process. In organization, interpretation is influenced by many factors such as the halo effect, stereotyping, attribution, impression and inference.


Attribution theory has been proposed to develop explanations of the ways in which we judge people differently, depending on what meaning we attribute to a given behaviour. Basically, the theory suggests that when we observe an individuals behaviour, we attempt to determine whether it was internally or externally caused. That determination, however, depends largely on three factors: distinctiveness, consensus and consistency.


Internally caused behaviours are those that are believed to be under the personal control of the individual. Externally caused behaviour is seen as resulting from outside causes; that is, the person is seen as having been forced into the behaviour by the situation. Distinctiveness refers to whether an individual displays different behaviours in different situations. If everyone who faces a similar situation responds in the same way, we can say the behaviour shows Consensus. Consistency means that does the person respond the same way overtime?


There is substantial evidence that when we make judgements about behaviour of other people, we have a tendency to underestimate the influence of external factors and overestimate the influence of internal or personal factors. This is called the fundamental attribution error. There is also a tendency for individuals and organizations to attribute their own success to internal factors such as ability or effort while putting the blame for failure on external factors such as bad luck or unproductive co-workers. This is called the self-serving bias.



Selective Perception Halo Effect- It is the process of using a single personality trait of an individual and drawing a general impression about him. Here a single trait overrides other characteristics of the individual. Contrast Effects- Evaluation of a persons characteristics that are affected by comparisons with other people recently encountered who rank higher or lower on the same characteristics. ProjectionThis tendency to attribute ones own characteristics to other people is called projection and it can distort perceptions made about others.



Stereotyping- When we judge someone on the basis of our perception of the group which he or she belongs, we are using the shortcut called stereotyping. We rely on generalizations every day because they help us make decisions fast and as accurately as possible but the problem is when we inaccurately generalize or overgeneralize.



Employment Interview- Perceptual biases of raters affect the accuracy of interviewers judgments of applicants. Performance Expectations- There is an impressive amount of evidence that demonstrates that people will attempt to validate their perceptions of reality, even when those perceptions are faulty.
Self-fulfilling prophecy- The tendency for someones expectations about another to cause that person to behave in a manner consistent with those expectations. Pygmalion effect- If a manager expects big things from his people, they are not likely to let him down. Golem effect- If a manager expects people to perform minimally, theyll tend to behave so as to meet those low expectations.


Ethnic Profiling- A form of stereotyping in which a group of individuals is singled outtypically on the basis of race or ethnicityfor intensive inquiry, scrutinizing, or investigation. Performance Evaluation- Performance evaluation represents an assessment of an employees work. Although the appraisal can be objective but many jobs are evaluated on subjective terms and there what the evaluator perceives to be good or bad employee characteristics or behaviours will significantly influence the outcome of the appraisal.



Although there are no set formulas to develop the perceptual abilities but some guidelines can definitely help promote the skills of the perceiver. 1. Avoid perceptual distortion. 2. Make accurate self-perception. 3. Put yourself in another persons place. 4. Create good impression about yourself.


Organizational Behavior- Robbins and Judge Organization Theory and Behaviour- Rao and Narayana Organizational Behaviour- LM Prasad www.wikipedia.com