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Perception is a process by which individuals organize and interpret their sensory impressions in order to give meaning to their environment. Perception is an individuals own view of the world. It is the unique way in which each person sees, organizes and interpret things. It gives meaning to information.

Perceptual process

Environmental stimuli






Selective attention Perpetual organization and interpretation

Emotions and behaviour

Perceptual set in organizational behaviour settings A perceptual set is an expectation of a perception based on past experience with the same or similar stimuli. The set includes:
sensing information interpreting information based on assumptions finding discrepancies making decisions

Principles of perceptual selection

principle of size: Bigger or smaller size principle of intensity: Loud sound, bright light principle of contrast: Background and the object principle of motion: Moving things principle of repetition: Repeated event e.g. advertisement principle of novelty and familiarity: New thing or old thing

Factors affecting perception

Factors in perceiver: Attitudes, motives, interests, experience, expectations Factors in situation: time, work setting, social setting. Factors in the target: Novelty, motion, sounds, size, background, proximity, similarity.

Attribution theory
When individuals observe behaviour they attempt to determine whether it is internally or externally caused. Attribution rules
Rule of high consistency: How often did the person act this way in the past? E.g. always performing poorly in the past (internal factor) i.e. He is always like this.

Rarely performs poorly (External factor)

Rule of low distinctiveness: How often the person acts this way in other setting? E.g. Performs poorly in other settings too( Internal, high, low distinctiveness) i.e. He is like this everywhere Rule of low consensus: How often do other people act this way in a similar situation? E.g. All people perform poorly in similar situation (high consensus, internal factors); People seldom poorly perform in a similar situation (low consensus, internal factors) i.e. All are doing same. Yo Desh Ma Satta Ma Gaye Pachhi Sabai Asafal Hunchhan!

Attribution errors
Fundamental attribution error: The tendency to underestimate the influence of external factors and overestimate the influence of internal factors when making judgment about the behaviour of others Self serving bias: The tendency for individuals to attribute their own success to internal factors while putting the blame for failures on external factors.

Other perceptual errors

Selective perception: Perceiving only those which the perceiver likes and leaving others. Halo and devil effect: Perception based on only one good (halo) or bad (devil) characteristics of a person or situation Contrast effect: e.g. another copy after a good or bad copy while checking them Projection: Attributing ones own characteristics Stereotyping: Judgment based on persons group. e.g. All Japanese are industrious?

Self fulfilling prophecy: A situation in which one person inaccurately perceives a second person and the resulting expectation cause the second person to behave in ways consistent with the original perception. E.g. Teachers were told there were all bright students in a class. Students were told all the teachers were best. The result was based. The reality was that both teachers and students were mixed. Primacy and recency effects: First impression is last impression (Primacy). Recent (Last) impression affects. (Recency)

Perception and Organizational Behavior

In an interview for the selection of a candidate, the
interviewers judgment about the suitability or otherwise of a candidate depends on how his/her behavior is perceived by them. A rejected applicant might feel that he was wronged by the interview though he deserved selection. But the fact is that interviewers generally form an early impression that becomes quickly entrenched. If the inadequacies of the candidate are exposed early, they weigh against him in the final selection

Specific applications in organization

Employment interview Performance expectations Performance evaluation Employee effort Employee loyalty

Managing the Perception Process

Have a high level of self-awareness. Seek information from various sources to confirm or disconfirm personal impressions of a decision situation. Be empathetic that is, be able to see a situation, as others perceive it. Influence of perceptions of other people when they are drawing incorrect or incomplete impressions of events in the work setting Avoid common perceptual distortions that biased in our view of people and situations. Avoid inappropriate attributions.

Perception and individual decision making

Perceptual process affects the decision maker. Though decision making is/should be a rational process, individual perception of the decision maker will play a vital role in choosing an alternative.

Factors affecting decision making

Identifying problems and opportunities. This is affected by a) perceptual biases b) poor diagnostic skills Evaluating and choosing solutions: They are affected by
Problems with goals: Members of organization may disagree with the goals and have differences in the relative importance of the goals due to their own interests in the organization. Problems in processing information Maximization problems: selecting Satisfying rather than maximizing solutions.

Evaluating decision outcomes: Defending the decision even if it was a bad one.