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Understanding Individual Differences & Perception . Perception is Reality. Understanding Individual Differences & Perception. Why is this topic worth studying? Perception refers to the process through which we receive, organize and interpret information from the environment

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Understanding Individual Differences & Perception

Why is this topic worth studying?

  • Perception refers to the process through which we receive, organize and interpret information from the environment

  • If we understand ourselves and those around us, we can be more effective

  • If we integrate factual and perceptual inputs into our belief system, we can change the way we think and behave


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Understanding Individual Differences & Perception

What is perception?

  • Our interpretation of reality

  • A cognitive process of simplifying and mentally organizing the environment

  • A series of mental models of common characteristics

  • A series of scripts to make events predictable


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Understanding Individual Differences & Perception

What influences perception?

  • Cognitive functions

  • Personality

  • Past experiences

  • Education

  • Gender, age, ethnicity, culture


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Understanding Individual Differences & Perception

Our perception of a situation:

  • Affects how we view our managers, coworkers, and subordinates

  • Impacts the way we manage people

  • Affects how we make decisions

  • Can lead to inappropriate behavior


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Understanding Individual Differences & Perception

Common perceptual biases

  • Stereotyping: assumptions about others based on belonging to a certain category or group

  • Halo effect: one characteristic influences your overall evaluation of a person

  • Selective perception: tendency to consider information that reinforces your existing beliefs


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Understanding Individual Differences & Perception

Biases related to decision-making:

  • Availability bias: tendency to base decisions on information that is readily available

  • Representative bias: assessing the likelihood of an occurrence based on pre-existing data

  • Escalation of commitment: increasing the commitment to a decision in spite of negative information


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Understanding Individual Differences & Perception

So What?

  • Our perceptions in the workplace are biased by our experience, the culture, our education, and socialization

  • We tend to make assumptions and act on our perceptions as if they were objective truth that were obvious to everyone

  • We rarely check the accuracy or validity of our assumptions

  • People make inferences about others and situations without regard to factual information


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Understanding Individual Differences & Perception

What is personality?

  • Personality is the sum of total ways an individual reacts to and interacts with others

  • Understanding one’s personality can help a manger predict employee behavior


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Understanding Individual Differences & Perception

We can understand personality through testing

  • Myers Briggs Type Indicator, categorizes individuals into one of sixteen personality types, extroverted vs. introverted, sensing vs. intuitive, thinking vs. feeling, perceiving vs. judging

  • Big Five Model, five basic dimensions underlie all others and explain most of the variation in human personality, extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability, openness to new experience


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Understanding Individual Differences & Perception

Why should you take this seriously?

  • There is irrefutable evidence that tests have predictive validity and can help us interpret performance

  • There is a link between personality dimensions and job performance

  • Whether you believe in this or not, many employers do


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