LEARNING is a relatively permanent change in
behavior or knowledge due to experience. When a
person behaves differently from what he previously did,
it can be said that there is change in the person’s
behavior. With change, there is learning.
A change in behavior happens due to any or both of the following:
2. Other causes such as drugs, injury, disease and maturation
Behavioral change starts with the mind when it accepts new
knowledge. Sometimes, the mind orders the body to show some
signs of behavior that is different from the previous one.
Sometimes, the mind is just plain contented with new knowledge
and do not make attempts to order the body to show some
outward manifestations of behavior change.
This is a type of learning in which a stimulus acquires the capacity
to evoke response that was originally evoked by another stimulus.
A stimulus is something that incites action. Example is ‘demotion
in rank’. The respond could be ‘a law suit’.
Original Stimulus Response
Conditioned Stimulus Conditioned Response
Operant conditioning is a type of learning where people learn to
repeat behaviors that bring them pleasurable outcomes and to
avoid behaviors that lead to uncomfortable outcomes.
Learning Repeat Behavior Pleasurable Outcomes
Avoid Behavior Uncomfortable Outcomes
Difference between the two theories:
Classical conditioning involves adjustment to events
(or stimuli, whether conditioned or otherwise) over which
the person has no control. In contrast, operant
conditioning involves adjustment to situations in which the
actions of the person determines what happens to him.
Social learning may be defined as the process of observing
the behavior of others, recognizing its consequences, and
altering behavior as a result. One of the ways by which
people learn is through social contacts with other people.
Social learning may be done in three ways:
1. By observing what happens to other people
2. By being told about something and
3. Through direct experience
Perception is a process by which individuals organize and interpret their
sensory impressions in order to give meaning to their environment. It
may be defined as the process by which people select, organize,
interpret, retrieve, and respond to information from their environment.
Why is this important to the study of OB?
This is important to the study of OB because people’s behavior is
based on their perception of what reality is, not on reality itself.
FACTORS INFLUENCING PERCEPTION
Factors that influence the perceiver’s
1. His past experiences
2. His needs or motives
3. His personality
4. His values and attitudes
Characteristics of the target:
2. Figure-ground separation
5. Repetition or novelty
Situational factors that influence perception:
2. Work setting
3. Social setting
Attribution theory is the process by which people ascribe causes to the
behavior they perceive.
Our perception and judgment of a person’s actions are influenced by the
- We make inferences about the actions of people that we do not make
about inanimate objects.
- Nonliving objects are subject to the laws of nature.
- People have beliefs, motives, or intentions.
1. Internally caused behaviors are those that are believed to be
under the personal control of the individual.
2. Externally caused behavior is seen as resulting from outside
causes; that is, the person is seen as having been forced into the
behavior by the situation.
Factors That Influence Attributions
Distinctiveness – the
consideration given to
how consistent a person’s
behavior is across
Consensus Consensus - refers to the likelihood that all
those facing the same situation will have
Consistency – refers to
the measure of whether
an individual responds
the same way across
1. Fundamental Attribution Error – the tendency to underestimate the
influence of external factors and overestimate the influence of internal or
personal factors in the behavior of others.
2. Self-serving Bias – the tendency for individuals to attribute their own
successes/achievements to their good inner qualities (internal factors)
whereas they attribute their failures to adverse factors within the
Common Attribution Errors:
Shortcuts Used in Forming Impressions of Others
We use a number of shortcuts when we judge others. Those
judgments or impressions constitute a database in our minds that
we later use as aides in making decisions concerning others. An
understanding of these shortcuts can be helpful toward
recognizing when they can result in significant distortions.
Selective Perception – happens when a person selectively
interprets what he sees on the basis of his interests, background,
experience, and attitudes. It is impossible for a person to
assimilate everything he sees, hears, smells, touches or tastes.
Only a limited number of stimuli can be taken in. As a result,
people engage in selective perception, but the process is affected
by personal interests, background, experience and attitude of the
Halo Effect – occurs when one attribute of a person or
situation is used to develop an overall impression of the person
or situation. In short, this occurs when we draw a general
impression on the basis of a single characteristic.
Contrast Effects – evaluations of a person’s characteristics that
are affected by comparisons with other people recently
encountered who rank higher or lower on the same
characteristics. Here, we do not evaluate a person in isolation.
Our reaction to one person is influenced by other persons we
have recently encountered.
Projection – attributing one’s own thoughts,
feelings or motives to another. It is likely to occur
in the interpretation stage of perception. This
tendency to attribute one’s own characteristics to
other people can distort perceptions made about
Stereotyping – judging someone on the basis of
one’s perception of the group to which that person
belongs. Generalization is not without advantages.
It is a means of simplifying a complex world, and it
permits us to maintain consistency. The problem,
of course, is when we inaccurately stereotype.
Specific Applications in Organizations