Perception notes


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Perception notes

  1. 1. Copyright “Business Communication and Organizational Behavior” by Khawaja Mazhar Iftikhar<br />Q 1. What do you understand by the term ‘Perception’? Give some examples of the internal and external factors that affect perceptual selectivity.<br />Ans: Each human being perceives the world around him in a unique way and this unique interpretation of a situation is called perception. Human beings do not passively receive information rather they analyze and judge it. They can focus on some information and regard other information as worthless. As each human mind is a unique filter, therefore each one of us has his own ‘world’, his own way of looking at and understanding the environment and people within it. A situation may be the same but the interpretation of that situation by two individuals may be vastly different. For example, a letter issued by manager HR to three departmental heads seeking their opinion on introducing electronic attendance system in the organization could receive a mixed reaction: one head may perceive it as a good step aimed at bringing efficiency and effectiveness in the attendance system thus reducing paper work as well as cost, another may see it an untimely step since he does not have any problem with the existing manual attendance system, a third departmental head may give his opinion, but see it as a move by HR to control attendance of his staff<br />Attention factors in selectivity<br />Internal factors:<br />Sensory limits – Human sensory systems have limits – we cannot see for miles or hear distant sounds. As unique filters we also differ in terms of the amount of sensory information we need to reach our own comfortable equilibrium. At a party some may term music as loud whereas others may treat it as a part of the total enjoyment.<br />Psychological factors – such as personality, learning and motives will also affect what is perceived. <br />Language – we can label and distinguish our environment with our language which also determines our thinking pattern. A person intending to have a house built may not be familiar with the terminology used by architects and builders for example, trusses, dowels, parapet etc.<br />Cultural differences – the way things are done in one place may altogether differ from the way things are done elsewhere. <br />External factors:<br />Intensity – the more intense the external stimulus, the more likely it is to be perceived. Loud noise, strong odor and bright light will get noticed.<br />Size – the larger the object, the more likely it will be perceived. A huge bill board will get attention more than an A-4 size page posted on the wall.<br />Contrast – the external stimuli that stand out against the background will be noticed. Black lettering on a yellow plate will get noticed.<br />Repetition – the repeated external stimulus is more attention getting than a single one. Over and over again instructions given to workforce is an example.<br />Motion – moving objects are more noticeable than stationary ones. LCD screens used by advertisers are more attention catching than ordinary boards.<br />Novelty or familiarity – new objects or familiar ones are attention gainers. A new car model is quickly noticed by commuters. Similarly a person may quickly recognize the model of a car he owns.<br /> <br />