Introduction We all come across various objects or things in our everyday life. We are also constantly bombarded with various stimuli. Then, What we do in practice is while we receive some objects, we rejects others. Further we look at same thing, yet perceive it differently. For example : Looking at a painting, Some may perceive it as beautiful, the others as ugly. Then the question arises is why the same object is perceived/understood differently by different people. The answer to it is perception which is cognitive factor of human behaviour.
What is perception? In the simple sense, Perception mean perceiving i.e., giving meaning to the environment around us. “Perception can be defined as the process of receiving, selecting, organising, interpreting, checking and reacting to sensory stimuli or data”. -Udai Pareek and others “Perception is an important mediating cognitive process through which persons make interpretation of the stimulus or situation they are face with”. -Fred Luthans
Perception Differs From Sensation People usually mean sensation and perception the same. But, there is a clear-cut distinction between two. In simple word, sensation may be describe as response of a physical sensory organ to some stimuli. Our physical senses i.e. vision, hearing, touch, smell and test are continuously bombarded by numerous stimuli that are both inside and outside of our body.
Perception Differs From Sensation Study the following example. These will help you understand the difference between perception and sensation more clearly. You buy a two-wheeler that you think is the best, but not the one that the engineer says the best. A subordinate’s answer to a question is based on what he heard his boss says, but not on what boss actually said.
Perceptual Process Perceptual process are broadly classified into following major steps: Receiving stimuli : There are five sensory organ in human organism i.e. vision, hearing, smell, touch and test stimuli receive by human body through organs. Selecting stimuli : The body of any individual select only those stimuli which are important and this selection is governed by two set of factors viz. External and Internal. Process of organising : The stimuli receive by any individual must be organise properly so as to assign some meaning of them. Interpreting : After the data has been receive and organise the next step is to interpret that data. Process of checking : After the data have been interpreted the perceiver checks whether his interpretation are proper or not. Process of reacting : The perceiver should take some action in relation to his perception.
Factors affecting perception Factor that influence perception relate to the perceiver, perceived and situations. All these factors are two kinds- Internal Factors (Endogenous)- a. Needs and desire: An individual’s perception about stimuli is influenced by Inter alia, his needs and desire at that time. b. Personality : Closely relate to needs and desire is the personality of the perceiver which affects what is attended or perceived in the given situation. c. Experience : Experience and knowledge serve as basic for perception.
External factors (Exogenous) : a. Size : The principle of size says that the larger the object, the more is the probability that it is perceived. Size attract the attention of the individuals. b. Intensity : Intensity is closely related to size. The intensity principle of attention states that the more intense the stimuli, the more likely it is to be perceived. c. Frequency : The frequency principle states that repeated external stimulus is more attention – getting than a single one. d. Contrast : As per contrast principle the external stimuli which stands out against the background will receive more attention. e. Status : Status held by an individual also influences his or her perception about things or events.
How to improve perception? Perceiving Oneself Accurately: One need to improve more awareness about himself / herself. Improving One’s Self-Concept: When people successfully accomplish what they want, it develops a sense of self-regard and self-esteem. It is called ‘Self-Concept’. Be Empathetic: Empathy means to be able to see a situation as it is perceived by other people. In a way, it is like putting your feet in another’s shoes.
Having Positive Attitude: Positive attitude makes one’s perception positive or more accurate. Avoiding Perceptual Distortions: Some factors such as hallo effect, stereotyping, attribution, first impression, etc. distort one’s perception about things or problems. Communicating Openly: Experience suggests that sometimes perception gets distorted due to communication gap or / and inadequate communication.
Perception and its applications in OB The word ‘Organisation’ among other things, implies where host of individual work together for achieving the organisational and individual goals. Perception tends to influence decision-making. Thus, Perceptions, in many cases, have important effect on organisations.
Employment Interview: Interviewers make perceptual judgments that are often inaccurate. Different interviewers try to see different things in the same candidate and thus, arrive at different perceptions about the same candidate.
Performance Appraisal: Assessment of an employee’s performance very much depends on the perception of the evaluator about the employee. In practice, an employee’s future is closely tied to his or her performance appraisal.
Performance Expectation: New employee during their selection process acquire a set of expectations both about the organisation and job he is expecting to achieve.
Employee Effort: In many organisations, the level of an employee’s performance is given high importance.
Employee Loyalty: While assessing employees, the managers also make another important decision whether the employee are loyal to organisation or not.