Definition: Perception is a process by which people regard, analyze, retrieve and react to any kind of information from the environment. For example, some people feel happy about earning money while others feel happy about spending money.

Factors affecting Perception

The factors which affect the perception are shown in the figure below:

factors which affect perceptionProcess of Perception

  • Reception: In this process, a person receives the information through stimuli.
  • Selection: This is governed by two types of factors:
    • External factors: These are size, intensity, proximity, motion and novelty.
    • Internal factors: These are attitude, motives, experiences, interests and expectations.
  • Organization: It is the process by which we sort stimuli into a meaningful pattern. It involves the following:
    • Grouping: Assembling of stimuli on the grounds of similarity.
    • Proximity: This is the closeness of stimuli to one another that affects perception.
    • Closure: It is the ability to organize stimuli so that together they form a whole pattern.
  • Interpretation: It is the formation of an idea about the information that is sensed, selected and organized. It involves the following phenomena: primacy effect, selective perception, stereotyping, halo effect, projection and expectancy effect. They are the types of perceptual errors.
    • Primacy/ Recency Effect:  The first impression is given the most important which is known as the primacy effect. Recency effect, on the other hand, is that human beings remember latest events more than the less recent ones.
    • Stereotyping:  It is the effect caused by forming a certain belief about a category of stimuli and generalizing that notion to encounters with each member of that category. In reality, there is a difference between the perceived notion of each category and the actual traits of the members. It may affect the interview process in an organization.
    • Halo effect: It is the process of generalizing from a comprehensive analysis to a single attribute or trait. A negative halo effect is known as the reverse halo effect. It affects the performance appraisal of employees in a company.
    • Projection: It is a psychological defence mechanism which makes a person compare his negative traits with other people and conclude that they are better off than others.  Perceptual checking minimizes the negative effects of projection.
    • Selective Perception: This means a person sees, feels or hears what he wants to and skips other information which are inconsistent to his view.
    • Expectancy effect: It is the tendency of an individual to interpret any person or object based on how he expects the person or object to be in the first place. It is also called as Pygmalion effect.

perceptual frameworkPerception is an intellectual, psychological process which is subjective as individuals perceive similar incident differently.

Importance of Perception

Perception plays a pivotal role in an organization as it influences the following:

Hence, by the process of perception we make sense of the world around us.

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