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Dwayne Salmon

MG 630 Perception (Chapter 6)

May 30, 2012

Perception is the process by which individuals organize and interpret their sensory impressions in order to giving meaning to their environment. Perception can be given about a topic or object but there is no human behavior involved. For example, a Project manager asks his team to read their clients rules and policy guideline governing projects and the next day he has a discussion with the team about what they read. It is not expected that they will repeat word for word what they read but rather say what they understand from the reading. It is also not expected that all members of the team would have the same interpretations. It is known that Perception is influenced by many factors including those within the perceiver themselves, the person or object being perceived or the situation in which perception is taking

place. When we attempt to observe and interpret someone or something, there are key characteristics that we possess which affect our conclusions. These include attitude, personality, interests, motives, experiences, moods and expectations. For instance, if one has an aggressive personality and he has to interact with someone who is quiet and reserved, he may perceive that the person is weak or even afraid of him. We tend to notice things in other people that are part of our own attributes, our self-concept. It is believed that the characteristics of the person object being assessed also have an impact on how we perceive. A certain characteristic could be portrayed about someone but it may not necessarily be a true reflection of who they are on a whole. The way that a person or object either fits in with or stands out from their surroundings also affects how we perceive them. Another significant influence on how we perceive someones age, weight, height and clothing are their physical appearance. For example, imagine if you are walking along the street and you see a person that is wearing shabby clothing, you may think that person is homeless. In

Dwayne Salmon

MG 630 Perception (Chapter 6)

May 30, 2012

addition to that, communication from the target can alter how we perceive, including both nonverbal and verbal expressions; we tend to interpret people based on what they say along with their facial expressions, body language and the manner in which they make eye contact. Another influence on perception is Context; if an individual is placed in a certain situation, they may display uncharacteristic behavior. If someone is perceived in such a condition it would be a totally false perception of who that person really is. For example you may interact with a top business executive in their office during a meeting and you perceive him to be a very authoritative, professional and intense person. However, you meet that same person at a social gathering and you interact with them and you now perceive them to be a very relaxed, friendly and down to earth because they are not conducting business. It is safe to conclude that perception is very subjective and it can be influenced by several known factors. This often results in our perception of a target being completely different from reality. One must understand that the key to gaining an accurate perception of any given target is to be aware of all the influences and also to obtain the facts about the target.