Errors in Perception

Errors in Perception

Errors in Perception (In Organisational Behaviour)

Perception is the process of analyzing and understanding a stimulus as it is. But it may not be always possible to perceive the stimuli as they are. Knowingly or unknowingly, we mistake the stimulus and perceive it wrongly.

Many times the prejudices in the individual, time of perception, unfavorable background, lack of clarity of stimulus, confusion, conflict in mind and such other factors are responsible for errors in perception. There are some errors in perception;

  1. Illusion-

    The illusion is a false perception. Here the person will mistake a stimulus and perceive it wrongly.

For example, in the dark, a rope is mistaken as a snake or vice versa. The voice of an unknown person is mistaken as a friend’s voice. A person standing at a distance who is not known may be perceived as a known person.

  1. Hallucination-

    Sometimes we come across instances where the individual perceives some stimulus, even when it is not present. This phenomenon is known as a hallucination. The person may see an object, person, etc. or he may listen to some voice though there are no objects and sounds in reality.

  2. Selective Perception-

    Selective perception means the situation when people selectively interpret what they see on the basis of their interests, background, experience, and attitudes. It means any characteristics that make a person, object, or event stand out will increase the probability that it will be perceived. Because it is impossible for us to assimilate everything we see, only certain stimuli can be taken in.

  3. Halo Effect-

    The individual is evaluated on the basis of perceived positive quality, feature or trait. When we draw a general impression about an individual on the basis of a single characteristic, such as intelligence, sociability, or appearance, a halo effect is operating.

In other words, this is the tendency to rate a man uniformly high or low in other traits if he is extraordinarily high or low in one particular trait. If a worker has few absences, his supervisor might give him a high rating in all other areas of work.

  1. Stereotyping-

    People usually can fall into at least one general category based on physical or behavioural traits then they will be evaluated. When we judge someone on the basis of our perception of the group to which he or she belongs, we are using the shortcut called stereotyping. For example, a boss might assume that a worker from a Middle East country is lazy and cannot meet performance objectives, even if the worker tried his best.

  2. Similarity-

    Often, people tend to seek out and rate more positively those who are similar to themselves. This tendency to approve of similarity may cause evaluators to give better ratings to employees who exhibit the same interests, work methods, points of view or standards.

  3. Horn Effect-

    When the individual is completely evaluated on the basis of a negative quality or feature perceived. This results in an overall lower rating than an acceptable rate. He is not formally dressed up in the office, that’s why he may be casual at work too.

  4. Contrast-

    The tendency to rate people relative to other people rather than to the individual performance he or she is doing. Rather will evaluate an employee by comparing that employee’s performance with other employees.

In the early 20th Century, Wilhelm Wundt identified contrast as a fundamental principle of perception, and since then the effect has been confirmed in many different areas. These effects shape not only visual qualities like color and brightness but other kinds of perception, including how heavy an object fecls. One experiment found that thinking of the name “Hitler” led to subjects rating a person as more hostile.

Basically, we use the above shortcuts when we judge others. Perceiving and interpreting what others do is burdensome. As a result, individuals develop techniques for making the task more manageable. These techniques are frequently valuable-they allow us to make accurate perceptions rapidly and provide valid data for making projections. But sometimes it also creates problems. Because firstly, we have said that these are the shortcuts.

In these ways, we can judge others in a short period of time but sometimes we mistakenly judge others by these shortcuts.

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