Perception Definition and Process Perception of Others Perceptual Problems Strategies to Improve Perception
Perception • Definition- the process of selectively attending to information and assigning meaning to it.
Three Step Process • Attention and Organization • Organization • Interpretation
Attention and Selection • We are hit with a constant barrage of stimuli, what do we focus on? • Needs, Interests, and Expectations (p. 31)
Perception of Others • Will they like me? • Are they like ? • Will they accept me? • Will I get along with them? • All questions we are faced with in initial encounters.
Uncertainty Reduction Theory • Def.- explains the ways individuals monitor their social environments and come to know more about themselves and others. • Uncertainty is uncomfortable and we try to alleviate it by answering previous questions.
Observing Others • Race, gender, age, appearance, facial expressions, movement, space, touch, communication, all important. • Physical attractiveness from height, weight, grooming, dress, sound of voice, all important. • We then use these to categorize people as friendly, courageous, intelligent, cool, or opposite as ourselves.
First Impressions • How do you act? • What do you look for? • Are they important to you?
Perceptual Problems • Implicit Personality Theory- People develop assumptions about which physical characteristics and personality traits or behaviors are associated with another.
Perceptual Problems • Halo Effect- perceiving that a person has a whole set of characteristics when you have actually observed only one characteristic, trait or behavior.
Perceptual Problems • Selective Perception- the tendency to pay attention only to what we expect to see or hear. • Only see the good or only see the bad.
Perceptual Problems • Attributions- reasons we give for others’ behavior. • If you like the person, a good excuse, if dislike them, a negative excuse.
Perceptual Problems • Prejudice- a positive or negative attitude or judgment directed toward people simply because they happen to be members of a specific group.
Improving your Perceptions • Question the accuracy of your perceptions. • Seek more information to verify your perceptions. • Get to know each person as a unique individual. • Realize that your perceptions about a person will change over time.
Your New Skill • Perception Checking • Three Steps • Describe the observable behavior • Give two possible interpretations • Ask for clarification