Factors Influencing Perception
Perceptions | Organizational Behaviour
Factors that influence social 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:
1.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 personal characteristics of 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 last bench would neglect even the genuine questions raised by them.
b. Motives: It plays an important role in determining what 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 favourable aspects of other people.Teacher would notice rough behaviour of a student on last bench as compared to the first benchers.
2. 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 which are within the things to be perceived. Important ones are:
(i) Novelty (ii Motion (iii) sounds (iv) Size (v) Background (vi) Proximity (vii) Similarity.
Out of those seven factors, size, motion and novelty are already explained in the topic principles of perceptual selection. So, here we discuss the rest of the factors only.
a.Sounds: Louder and frequent is the sound easier and quicker will be the perception and vice versa.
c.Proximity (nearness): The things that are proximate to time or physical settings are perceived easily and quickly
d.Similarity: If the things are similar to us, we perceive it easily and quickly.For example, an army person perceives an army staff easily.
3. 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 behaviour. In these situations, we assume that the individual’s behaviour 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 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 miniskirt in a disco will not be perceived but he same lady with miniskirt in OB class at Kirtipur will be perceived quickly.
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