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Factors that influence Social Perception – Organizational Behavior | Perception Psychology

Factors Influencing Perception

➦ Perception is a process by which individuals organize and interpret their sensory perceives in order to give meaning to their environment.

➦ However, what one perceives can be substantially different from objective reality. People look at the same thing but perceive differently.

➦ A number of factors operate to shape and sometimes distort perceptions. The factors that influence perceptions of a person are as follows:

Factors Influencing Perception

A) Factors in the Perceiver

Factors in the perceiver

➦ Several characteristics of the perceiver can affect perception.

➦ When an individual looks at a target and attempts to interpret what he or she, that interpretation is heavily influenced by the personal characteristics of the individual perceiver.

➦ These factors are inside a person. Among the internal factors, the most important are:

a. Attitudes: Suppose, an OB teacher who has negative attitudes towards Nepali(language) speaking and students sitting on the last bench would neglect even the genuine questions raised by them.

b. Motives: It plays an important role in determining what a person perceives. A person’s most urgent needs and desires at any given time can influence perception.

c. Interests: We perceive those things quickly for which we have a deep interest. For example, an imperfect faced person will be perceived quickly by a plastic surgeon as compared to a dentist.

d. Experience: Successful experiences enhance and boost up the perceptive ability and lead to accuracy in perception and vice versa.

e. Expectations: People see what they expect to see. People who accept themselves are more likely to be able to see favorable aspects of other people. The teacher would notice the rough behavior of a student on the last bench as compared to the first benchers.

B) Factors in the Target

Factors in the target

➦ Characteristics in the target that is being observed can affect what is perceived. Physical appearance plays a big role in our perception of others.

➦ Extremely attractive or unattractive individuals are more likely to be noticed in a group than ordinary liking individuals.

➦ Motion, sound, size, and other attributes of a target shape the way we see it. They are factors that are within the things to be perceived. Important ones are:

a. Novelty: Novelty refers to how new or unfamiliar something is to us. Novel stimuli tend to capture our attention more readily because they stand out from the familiar background. Our brains are wired to detect novelty as it could signal potential threats or opportunities.

b. Motion: Motion refers to the movement of objects or stimuli in our environment. Moving objects are often perceived more prominently than stationary ones. Motion can draw our attention and help us quickly identify important changes in our surroundings.

c. Sounds: Sounds play a crucial role in perception, providing important information about our environment. Different sounds can evoke various emotional responses and trigger attention. Sounds can alert us to potential dangers or interesting events in our surroundings.

d. Size: Size refers to the physical dimensions of objects or stimuli. Larger objects often attract more attention than smaller ones. Size can influence how we prioritize and perceive objects within a scene.

e. Background: Background refers to the context or environment in which stimuli are presented. The background can either enhance or detract from our perception of specific stimuli. A cluttered background may make it harder to distinguish and focus on individual objects.

f. Proximity: Proximity refers to the spatial distance between objects or stimuli. Objects that are closer together are perceived as more related or belonging to the same group. Proximity can influence how we organize and interpret visual scenes.

g. Similarity: Similarity refers to how much objects or stimuli resemble each other in terms of features like shape, color, or texture. Objects that share similar features are often grouped together in perception. Similarity can help us quickly categorize and make sense of our environment.

➦ In summary, these factors in perception, including novelty, motion, sounds, size, background, proximity, and similarity, all contribute to how we perceive and make sense of the world around us.

➦ They shape our attention, interpretation, and understanding of various stimuli in our environment.

C) Factors in the Situation

Factors in the situation

➦ The situation in which the interaction between the perceiver and the target takes place has an influence on the perceiver’s impression of the target.

➦ The strength of the situational cues also affects social perception. Some situations provide strong cues as to appropriate behavior.

➦ In these situations, we assume that the individual’s behavior can be accounted for by the situation and that it may not reflect the individual’s disposition.

➦ This is the discounting principle in social perception.

a. Time: It also affects perception. Students who read OB book early in the morning understand perceive) easily and quickly. They perceive the OB book quickly in a book store at the time of examination.
b. Work setting: Suppose, if the OB class is small and peaceful, the students perceive the subject easily and quickly and vice versa.

c. Social setting: It also affects perception. For example, a lady student wearing a miniskirt in a disco will not be perceived but the same lady with a miniskirt in OB class at Kirtipur will be perceived quickly.

People Also Ask:

How does social perception affect human behavior?

How does social perception affect human behavior?

➦ Based on the information they receive from their environment, individuals form judgments about others through social perception.

➦ Human behavior can be significantly influenced by this process since it can influence how individuals perceive themselves and others, and ultimately affect how they interact with others and act.

➦ In the case of rudeness or aggression, if an individual perceives another person to be rude or aggressive, he or she may avoid interacting with that person or be cautious.

➦ Alternatively, if an individual perceives another individual as friendly and approachable, they are more likely to interact with them socially.

➦ People’s perceptions of themselves can also be influenced by their social perceptions.

➦ For example, if they perceive themselves as competent or successful, they may engage in activities that align with those perceptions.

➦ In contrast, individuals who perceive themselves as inferior or inadequate may be less likely to accomplish certain objectives or engage in certain activities.

➦ The way individuals perceive themselves and others determine their actions and interactions with others, which can have a significant effect on their behavior.

How can I improve my social perception?

How can I improve my social perception?

To improve your social perception, you can use the following strategies:

➨ You can form more accurate perceptions of other people if you pay attention to what they are saying and try to understand what they are saying.

➨ Expand your understanding of the world by engaging with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures.

➨ You are aware of your own biases when forming judgments about others, so take some time to examine them and try to be aware of them.

➨ In order to gain insight into how others perceive you, you should seek feedback from them about how you come across to them.

➨ Develop a compassionate perception of others by putting yourself in their shoes and considering their feelings and experiences.

What are the challenges in social perception?

What are the challenges in social perception?

Social perception faces several challenges:

➨ It is common for people to categorize individuals according to their membership in particular groups (e.g., based on race, gender, age, etc.), leading to stereotypes and bias perceptions.

➨ Information that confirms preexisting beliefs is more likely to be paid attention to than information that contradicts them, resulting in inaccurate perceptions.

➨ A person’s perception can be incomplete or distorted due to attentional biases, in which they focus on certain aspects of a person or situation while ignoring others.

➨ Our perceptions of others can be affected by the context in which we observe them. For example, we may perceive a person differently in a formal setting than in a casual one.

➨ A self-fulfilling prophecy occurs when an individual acts in a way that confirms what they perceive of another individual.

➨ For example, if an individual perceives another person as rude, they may act in a way that elicits rude behavior in the other individual.

What are the stages of social perception?

What are the stages of social perception?

Social perception consists of the following stages:

➨ Taking in information and paying attention to others is the process of paying attention.

➨ An encoding process involves the interpretation and organization of information.

➨ Information is stored in memory after it has been encoded.

➨ Information retrieval is the process of gaining access to stored information and applying it to make judgments.

➨ Using retrieved information to form a perception of others is what is meant by interpretation.

➨ An individual’s response to perceived information is determined by how he or she reacts to the information.

Why is social perception important in psychology?

Why is social perception important in psychology?

There are several reasons why social perception is important in psychology:

➨ The theory explains how individuals form judgments about others and how they act on those judgments.

➨ In order to understand how people perceive, interpret, and interact with others, we need to understand how they perceive and interpret social cues.

➨ Biases and stereotypes can affect social perception and behavior as a result of individual differences.

➨ Having a clear understanding of how social influence affects human behavior and attitudes is useful.

➨ There are implications for social cognition and how social information is processed, stored, and retrieved by individuals.

What are examples of social perception?

What are examples of social perception?

Social perception can be illustrated by the following examples:

➨ The ability to interpret and understand facial expressions is based on social perception. A facial expression reveals an individual’s emotion or intention.

➨ The ability to interpret and understand nonverbal cues is based on social perception. We use body language to communicate nonverbal cues to others.

➨ Our voices convey emotions and intentions through tone and inflection. Social perception assists us in interpreting and understanding these cues.

➨ People form perceptions of each other’s personalities based on a variety of cues, including behavior, appearance, and communication style.

➨ We categorize individuals according to their membership in different groups (e.g., race, gender, age, etc.) using various cues, such as appearance, behavior, and language.


  • Sah, S., & Sah, S.. Factors influencing perception. Bench Partner.

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4 thoughts on “Factors that influence Social Perception – Organizational Behavior | Perception Psychology”

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