• Perception is the way people organize and
interpret the world around them in order to
give meaning to their surroundings.
• People’s behavior is based on how they
interpret reality, not reality itself.
• The world that is perceived is the world that is
• Judging someone on the basis of one’s perception of the
group to which that person belongs.
• Combines information based on the category or class to
which a person, situation, or object belongs.
• Strong impact at the organization stage.
• A perceptual error whereby our general impression of a person,
usually based on one prominent characteristic, colours the perception
of other characteristics of that person.
• Occurs when one attribute of a person or situation is used to develop
an overall impression of the individual or situation.
• Likely to occur in the organization stage.
• Important in the performance appraisal process.
• People selectively interpret what they see on the basis of their interests,
background, experience, and attitudes.
• The tendency to single out those aspects of a situation, person, or object
that are consistent with one’s needs, values, or attitudes.
• Strongest impact is at the attention stage.
• The assignment of one’s personal attributes to other
• Occurs when an individual believes that other people have
the same beliefs and behaviours as that of an individual.
• Especially likely to occur in interpretation stage.
• Projection can be controlled through a high degree of self-
awareness and empathy.
Evaluations of a person’s characteristics that are
affected by comparisons with other people recently
encountered who rank higher or lower on the same
19. Perceptual Distortions & Managerial
The initial pieces of information
that a perceiver has about a target
have an inordinately large effect on
the perceiver’s perception and
evaluation of the target.
Interviewers decide in the first few minutes
of an interview whether or not a job candidate
is a good prospect.
The perceiver’s perceptions of
others influence the perceiver’s
perception of a target.
A manager’s perception of an average
subordinate is likely to be lower if that
subordinate is in a group with very high
performers rather than in a group with very
The perceiver’s general impression
of a target influences his or her
perception of the target on specific
A subordinate who has made a good overall
impression on a supervisor is rated as
performing high-quality work and always
meeting deadlines regardless of work that is
full of mistakes and late.
People perceive others who are
similar to themselves more
positively than they perceive those
who are dissimilar.
Supervisors rate subordinates who are similar
to them more positively than they deserve.
Some perceivers tend to be overly
harsh in their perceptions, some
overly lenient. Others view most
targets as being about average.
When rating subordinates’ performances, some
supervisors give almost everyone a poor rating,
some give almost everyone a good rating, and
others rate almost everyone as being about
Knowing how a target stands on a
predictor of performance influences
perceptions of the target.
A professor perceives a student more positively
than she deserves because the professor knows
the student had a high score on the SAT.
21. Attribution Theory
(How often does the
person do this in
(How often do other
people do this in
(How often did the
person do this in
22. Attribution Theory
Attribution theory aids in perceptual
interpretation by focusing on how people
• Understand the causes of a certain event.
• Assess responsibility for the outcomes of the
• Evaluate the personal qualities of the people
involved in the event.
Internal versus external attributions of causes of
• Internal causes are under the individual’s control.
• External causes are within the person’s
Factors influencing internal and external attributions.
Refers to whether an individual displays different behaviours in
Likelihood of others responding in a similar way.
Whether an individual responds the same way across time.
1. Mr. Steve has been late for work several times in recent weeks. He
has failed to turn in several important project outlines on time
without explanation or apology, annoying his employer. Until
recently, Steve’s attendance and performance at work had been
consistent, motivated and highly productive. Steve’s recent behavior
has been so uncharacteristic that his employer decides to confront
him, demanding a meeting the next day.
2. At the end of a hockey game the coach of the losing team was asked
to explain his team’s defeat. “I dunno”, he begins, “ we have done
well in this rink over the past few years. Our busy schedule over the
past two weeks has pushed the guys too hard, I guss. They are worn
out. You probably noticed that we also got some bad breaks on
penalties tonight. We should have done well here, but things just
went against us.” Use attribution theory to use coaches perceptions
of the team’s loss
26. Exercise I - “Twelve Angry Men”
Questions for discussion
1. What are the various characteristics of Jury, Accused and Situation that affect the perceptual
2. Discuss how stereotyping, personal prejudices (and similar shortcuts in
perception/perceptual errors) observed in the movie lead to perceptual distortion and
3. On what basis jury alleged the boy for murder? Can we say that learning, knowledge and
experience play a significant role in developing our perceptual process?
4. Explain jury’s verdict on murder, drawing on the framework of attribution theory
(consistency cues, consensus and Distinctiveness)
5. Explain how one person, jury # 8 is able to change the perception of all other jury?
27. Perception and its applications in
• Employment Interview
• Performance Expectations
• Performance Evaluation
• Employee Effort