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Perception and Learning

Understanding and Adapting to the Work Environment

Chapter 2

Learning Objectives
1.
2. 3.

4. 5. 6.

Distinguish between the concepts of social perception and social identity. Explain how the attribution process works and describe the various sources of bias in social perception. Understand how the process of social perception operates in the context of performance appraisals, employment interviews, and the cultivation of corporate images. Define learning and describe the two types most applicable to OB: operant conditioning and observational learning. Describe how principles of learning are involved in organizational training and innovative reward systems. Compare the way organizations use reward in organizational behavior management programs, how they can use punishment most effectively when administering discipline, and how they can manage knowledge effectively.
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Social Identity Theory


Personal Identity: The characteristics that define a particular individual. Social Identity: Who a person is, as defined in terms of his or her membership in various social groups. Social Identity Theory: A conceptualization recognizing that the way we perceive others and ourselves is based on our unique characteristics and our membership in various groups.
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Social Identity Theory

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Social Perception
Social

Perception: The process of combining, integrating, and interpreting information about others to gain an accurate understanding of them. Attribution: The process through which individuals attempt to determine the causes behind others behavior.
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Correspondent Inferences
Judgments about peoples dispositions, traits, and characteristics, that correspond to what we have observed of their actions.

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Causal Attribution
Causes of Behavior:
Internal: Explanations based on actions for which the individual is responsible. External: Explanations based on situations over which the individual has no control.

Kelleys Theory of Causal Attribution: The approach suggesting that people will believe others actions to be caused by internal or external factors based on three types of information: consensus, consistency, and distinctiveness.
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Kelleys Theory of Attribution

Consensus: Information regarding the extent to which other people behave in the same manner as the person being judged. Consistency: Information regarding the extent to which the person being judged acts the same way at other times. Distinctiveness: Information regarding the extent to which a person behaves in the same manner in other contexts.
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Kelleys Theory of Attribution

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Stereotypes
Beliefs that all members of specific groups share similar traits and are prone to behave the same way.
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Perceptual Biases
Predispositions that people have to misperceive others in various ways. Types include
Fundamental attribution error Halo effect Similar-to-me effect First impression error Selective perception
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Fundamental Attribution Error


The tendency to attribute others actions to internal causes (e.g., their traits) while largely ignoring external factors that also may have influenced behavior.
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Halo Effect
The tendency for our overall impressions of others to affect objective evaluations of their specific traits; perceiving high correlations between characteristics that may be unrelated.
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Similar-to-Me Effect
The tendency for people to perceive in a positive light others who are believed to be similar to themselves in any of several different ways.
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Selective Perception
The tendency to focus on some aspects of the environment while ignoring others.

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First Impression Error


The tendency to base our judgments of others on our earlier impressions of them.

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Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: The tendency for someones expectations about another to cause that person to behave in a manner consistent with those expectations. Pygmalion Effect: A positive instance of the selffulfilling prophecy, in which people holding high expectations of another tend to improve that individuals performance. Golem Effect: A negative instance of the selffulfilling prophecy, in which people holding low expectations of another tend to lower that individuals performance.
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Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

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Overcoming Biases

Do not overlook the external cases of others behaviors. Identify your stereotypes. Evaluate people based on objective factors. Avoid making rash judgments.
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Organizational Applications
Performance Appraisal: The process of evaluating employees on various workrelated dimensions.
An inherently biased process

Impresssion Management: Efforts by individuals (esp. in employment interviews) to improve how they appear to others. Corporate Image: The impressions that people have of an organization.
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Applicant Impression Management

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Corporate Image

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Learning Concepts
Learning: A relatively permanent change in behavior occurring as a result of experience. Operant Conditioning: The form of learning in which people associate the consequences of their actions with the actions themselves.
Behaviors with positive consequences are acquired. Behaviors with negative consequences tend to be eliminated.
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Operant Conditioning Process

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Reinforcement Concepts
Positive

Reinforcement: The process by which people learn to perform behaviors that lead to the presentation of desired outcomes. Negative Reinforcement: The process by which people learn to perform acts that lead to the removal of undesired events.
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Punishment and Extinction


Punishment: Decreasing undesirable behavior by following it with undesirable consequences. Extinction: The process through which responses that are no longer reinforced tend to gradually diminish in strength.
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Contingencies of Reinforcement

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Schedules of Reinforcement
Rules governing the timing and frequency of the administration of reinforcement. Continuous Reinforcement: A schedule of reinforcement in which all desired behaviors are reinforced. Partial Reinforcement: A schedule of reinforcement in which only some desired behaviors are reinforced.
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Fixed Interval Schedules


Schedules of reinforcement in which a fixed period of time must elapse between the administration of reinforcements.
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Variable Interval Schedules


Schedules of reinforcement in which a variable period of time (based on some average) must elapse between the administration of reinforcements.
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Fixed Ratio Schedules


Schedules of reinforcement in which a fixed number of responses must occur between the administration of reinforcements.
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Variable Ratio Schedules


Schedules of reinforcement in which a variable number of responses (based on some average) must occur between the administration of reinforcements.
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Observational Learning
The form of learning in which people acquire new behaviors by systematically observing the rewards and punishments given to others.

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Steps in Observational Learning

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Applications of Learning
Training Innovative

Reward

Systems Organizational Behavior Management Discipline Knowledge Management


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Training
The process of systematically teaching employees to acquire and improve jobrelated skills and knowledge. Types of training:
Classroom training Apprenticeship programs Cross-cultural training Executive training programs Corporate universities E-training
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Keys to Effective Training

Participation: Active involvement in the process of learning; more active participation leads to more effective learning. Repetition: The process of repeatedly performing a task so that it may be learned. Transfer of Training: The degree to which the skills learned during training sessions may be applied to performance on ones job. Feedback: Knowledge of the results of ones behavior.
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Innovative Reward Systems


$ Skill-Based Pay: An innovative reward system in which people are paid based on the number of different skills they have learned relevant to performing one or more jobs in the organization. $ Team-Based Rewards: Innovative reward systems in which employees are paid on the basis of their teams performance.
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Organizational Behavior Management


The practice of altering behavior in organizations by systematically administering rewards.
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Discipline
The process of systematically administering punishment.
Progressive Discipline: The practice of gradually increasing the severity of punishments for employees who exhibit unacceptable job behavior.
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Continuum of Disciplinary Measures

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Using Punishment Effectively

Deliver punishment immediately after the undesirable response occurs. Give moderate levels of punishment nothing too high or too low. Punish the undesirable behavior, not the person. Use punishment consistently across occasions. Punish everyone equally for the same infraction. Clearly communicate the reasons for the punishment given. Do not follow punishment with noncontingent rewards.
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Knowledge Management
The process of gathering, organizing, and sharing a companys information and knowledge assets. Intellectual Capital: Areas of expertise represented by the employees within a company. Knowledge Managers: Individuals who are responsible for organizing the wealth of corporate knowledge represented by its people and ensuring that this information gets used effectively.
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What Do Knowledge Managers Do?

Explain the companys knowledge management efforts to everyone from board member to low-level employee.
Secure funding for knowledge management projects. Promote job flexibility within the company, making it possible for people with good ideas to execute them readily. Develop, maintain, and promote use of an online database of ideas that is readily accessible to all. Discourage keeping information and ideas within a single division; encouraging all ideas, research findings, and experiences to be shared with others.
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