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 Perception is important for understanding individual differences because how people perceived a situation determines how people behave. Perception is part of that personal dimension that makes people see situations differently as well as shapes their attitude in terms of their work environment. This lesson seeks to help students:
1. describe the major elements of the perceptual process;
2. identify the main factors that influence what individual perceive; and
3. Identify factors that determine how one person perceives another.


  1. 1. Understanding individual differences<br />Perception<br />
  2. 2. Perception <br />Overview <br />Perception is important for understanding individual differences because how people perceived a situation determines how people behave. Perception is part of that personal dimension that makes people see situations differently as well as shapes their attitude in terms of their work environment. This lesson seeks to help students:<br /> describe the major elements of the perceptual process;<br /> identify the main factors that influence what individual perceive; and<br /> identify factors that determine how one person perceives another.<br />
  3. 3. Perception<br />Definition<br />Perception is the process by which people select, organize, interpret, and respond to information from the world around them.<br />Perception is the selection and organization of environmental stimuli to provide meaningful experiences for the perceiver.<br />The perceptual process consists of the following elements:<br />Environmental stimuli<br />Observation<br />Perceptual selection<br />Perceptual organization<br />Interpretation<br />response<br />
  4. 4. Environmental Stimuli<br />Observation<br /><ul><li>Taste
  5. 5. Smell
  6. 6. Hearing
  7. 7. Sight
  8. 8. Touch </li></ul>P<br />E<br />R<br />C<br />E<br />P<br />T<br />U<br />A<br />L<br />P<br />R<br />O<br />C<br />E<br />S<br />S<br />Perceptual Organization<br /><ul><li>Continuity
  9. 9. Closure
  10. 10. Proximity
  11. 11. Similarity</li></ul>Perceptual selection<br />Interpretation<br />Response<br /><ul><li>Attitude
  12. 12. Feelings
  13. 13. Behaviour
  14. 14. Motivations</li></li></ul><li>Perception<br />Environmental stimuli<br />People receive stimuli from the environment through their senses when they observe their environment:<br />
  15. 15. Perception<br />Perceptual Selection<br />When the stimuli are received a person might pay attention to some of the aspects in the environment and ignore others. This filtering out of most information to deal with the most important matter is referred to as selective screening. <br />The influencing factors are due mainly to external and internal factors.<br />External factors are:<br />Size<br />Intensity<br />Contrast<br />Motion<br />Repetition<br />Novelty and familiarity<br />A combination of the above may be operating at any time to affect perception.<br />
  16. 16. Perception<br />Internal factors<br /><ul><li>Personality – personality is a strong influencing factor in determining how an individual perceive other people.
  17. 17. Learning affects perception by the development of perceptual sets. A perceptual set is an expectation of a particular interpretation based on past experience with the same or similar objects.
  18. 18. Motivation – the urgent needs and desires at any particular time can influence perception.</li></ul>What do you see in this picture? <br />Which white circle is larger?<br />How would you describe these potato chips?<br />
  19. 19. Perceptual organization <br />The process by which people group environmental stimuli into recognizable patterns<br />Perceptual grouping is the tendency to form perceive objects as a continuous pattern.<br />
  20. 20. Perception<br /><ul><li> Closure is the tendency to complete an object and perceive it as a constant.</li></li></ul><li>Personal perception<br />Personal perception is the process by which individuals attribute characteristics or traits to other people. One imagines that in the workplace personal perception plays an important role in shaping our behaviour in context of our work relationships with our colleagues. The factors that influence personal perception are:<br /><ul><li>Characteristics of the perceived
  21. 21. Characteristics of the perceiver, and
  22. 22. The situation or context within which the perception takes place.</li></li></ul><li>Person perception<br />The perceived<br />The person being perceived gives us information relative to:<br /><ul><li>Facial expression
  23. 23. General appearance
  24. 24. Skin colour
  25. 25. Posture
  26. 26. Age
  27. 27. Gender
  28. 28. Voice quality
  29. 29. Personality traits
  30. 30. behaviours</li></li></ul><li>Person perception<br />The perceiver<br /><ul><li> Factors internal to the perceiver determine how a person perceives someone. These factors are listed as:</li></ul>Personality<br />Learning<br />motivation<br />
  31. 31. Person perception<br />The situation<br /><ul><li>Situation does not only mean a place. Situation is inclusive of an event or an occasion when people interact. A situation may be important in understanding first impressions.</li></li></ul><li>Perceptual errors<br />The perceptual process may result in a person making errors in judgement or understanding of another person. The most common types of perceptual errors are:<br /><ul><li>Accuracy in judgment
  32. 32. Perceptual defence
  33. 33. Stereotyping
  34. 34. The halo effect
  35. 35. Projection
  36. 36. Role of culture</li></li></ul><li>Perceptual errors<br />Accuracy in judgment<br />Similarity error – assuming that people who are similar to us ( in terms of background, interests and hobbies) will behave like us.<br />Contrast error – comparing people to others rather than to some absolute standard.<br />Overweighting of negative information – a tendency to overreact to something negative.<br />Race, age, and gender bias – tendency to be more or less positive based on one’s race, age, of sex.<br />First-impression error – forming first impressions that are resistant to change. <br />
  37. 37. Perceptual error<br />Perceptual defence<br /><ul><li>The tendency for people to protect themselves against ideas, objects, or situations that are threatening.
  38. 38. Stereotyping
  39. 39. The belief that all members of a specific group share similar traits and behaviours.
  40. 40. Halo effect
  41. 41. A tendency to colour everything we know about a person because of one recognizable favourable or unfavourable trait.
  42. 42. Projection
  43. 43. tendency to see one’s traits in others.
  44. 44. The role of culture –
  45. 45. Culture influence our perception in selecting information and exhibiting a behavioural pattern in situations</li></li></ul><li>Learning<br />Learning is a relative permanent change in behaviour based on practice or experience. There are two categories of learning:<br />Classical learning<br />Operant learning<br />
  46. 46. Learning<br />Classical learning ( workplace hospital)<br />Unconditioned stimulus<br />Patient<br />Reflex action<br />Nervous behaviour of a nurse<br />Condition stimulus<br />Emergency light<br />A patient who needs treatment arrives at the hospital. As the patient enters the casualty a red light goes off to indicate an emergency. Nurses seeing the light become nervous about their tasks.<br />
  47. 47. Learning <br />Operant conditioning<br />A process by which individuals learn voluntary behaviour, that is perform deliberate actions. This concept in reference to the workplace suggests that the individual influences the environment to produce a consequence and as a result the individual learns voluntary behaviour. <br />Managers can influence the frequency of behaviour by changing the consequences of the behaviour through reinforcement and rewards.<br />
  48. 48. Reinforcement<br />Contingency of reinforcement<br />The relationship between the preceding and following environmental events and the behaviour, which results in a change in behaviour.<br />Reinforcement contingent on consequences<br />Employee task behaviour<br />Antecedent<br />Consequence<br />Manager and employee set goals<br />The employee may or may not reach the target<br />Is the consequence negative or positive? <br />Action of the manager – reprimand or compliment based of the consequence<br />
  49. 49. Positive reinforcement<br />Positive reinforcement is the presentation of a pleasant consequence after the occurrence of a desired goal.<br />Principles of positive reinforcement:<br />Contingent reinforcement – the reinforcer must be administered only if the desired behaviour is performed.<br />Immediate reinforcement – the reinforcer will be most effective if given immediately when the desired behaviour has occurred<br />Reinforcement size – the larger the amount, the more effective on the frequency of desired behaviour.<br />Reinforcement deprivation – the more a person is deprived, the greater the effect on future occurrence<br />
  50. 50. Negative reinforcement<br />Punishment <br /><ul><li>Punishment occurs when an unpleasant event follows and decreases its frequency.</li></ul>Punishment can be effective by doing the following:<br />With oral reprimand, “Praise in public, punish in private.”<br />Oral reprimand should pinpoint the undesirable behaviour to be avoided.<br />Develop an alternative desired behaviour to replace the undesired behaviour.<br />Use positive discipline to change employee behaviour by reasoning rather than by imposing increasingly severe punishment.<br />
  51. 51. Contingencies of reinforcement<br />Guidelines:<br />Do not reward all employee in the same way.<br />Carefully examine the consequences of nonactions as well as action.<br />Let employees know which behaviours will be reinforced.<br />Let employees know what they are doing wrong.<br />Do not punish employees in front of others.<br />Make the response equal to the behaviour by not cheating workers out of their just reward.<br />