Despite even our best efforts to accurately gather and interpret information, none of us has perfect perception. Instead, a variety of factors limit our ability to gather and process information and make accurate judgements. Discuss the factors that limit and distort our perception and contribute to bias. What can individuals and organisations do to overcome this?
Role of Perception in the Workplace
Perception is a method of collecting, organizing and interpreting the overall sensory impressions in context of the world. It has been seen that people give meaning by focusing on the perception. In the workplace, perception plays a great role as it gives impact on the individuals. Perception is related with the subjective judgment of the individual. For example: there are many employees in the workplace. Some of them can be satisfied and some cannot be satisfied. So, in this case, different people have different perception towards their jobs. Perception is also related with the behavior of the individuals as different people have different approach to solve the issue or to deal with a particular situation (Greasley et al., 2005).
In context to perceptual distortion, it has been seen that it varies from how it is perceived generally. If Perceptual distortion exists in the organization then negatively give impact on the overall performance and behavior of the employees. The impact can also be analyzed on the overall productivity level of the employees. In an organization, it has also been analyzed that biases take place just because of perception (Afsar and Badir, 2015). Different people have a different mindset towards people which lead to a different image of an individual. Biases only take place because every individual thinks different for other individuals. Some people have a positive attitude and mindset towards an individual and on the same time, one can have a negative attitude towards the same person. So, these all the factors depend on the perception. It has been seen that perception is not only linked to the experience of the world but it helps to act according to the environment (Lee, Park and Koo, 2015).
This first step is related to stimuli. It has been seen that each person have five sensory organs like vision, hearing, touch, smell, and taste. It has been seen that through this stimuli are received. It has been seen that written data is received through seeing and oral information is received by hearing (Pomerantz, 2017). Through this the information is received and also interpretation starts with the process of communication. The next step is related to the selection of stimuli. In this many stimuli are received but only that stimuli is selected which make some sense. To fill the gap is the third step in which the perceiver will try to fill the gaps by supplementing it with information. The efforts are also made by the perceiver to maintain proper flow of information. The last step is related with proximity. In which it has been seen that it is related to the closeness of data that should be perceived by the whole (Kenyon and Sen, 2015).
Distortion in perception can result in making a communication gap. It is considered as one of the serious issue and a reason for the failure of communication. It has been analyzed that communication can fail because the way of communication is different which is received by the other people.
Perceptual Distortion and its Impact
There are many factors that operate to shape and distort perception. These factors can be seen in the perceiver, in an object or in a particular situation. The characteristics of the perceiver can give an impact on perception. When a person focuses on the target and attempts to interpret what he or stands for then it has been seen that interpretation is influenced by a personal factor of the individual perceiver (Scott, 2015). There are many characteristics of the perceiver which influence the perception like attitudes. The attitude of the perceiver gives impact on the perception. Next characteristic is related with moods which influence the perception of someone. It has been analyzed that people think in a different way when they are in good mood and when they are depressed they think in a different manner. If a person is in a positive mood then positive impression can be formed for others. But if a person is in a negative mood then the impression can be negative. Therefore, the perception of an individual is different and also has a different way of expression towards a particular thing (Mittelstädt and Keim, 2015).
It has also been analyzed that there are various factors affecting the perception of the individuals. The factors are perceptual learning. If any special training is given then everyone acquires some inputs which are sensory. For instance : if a specified person is given training in a particular field then he or she can perform better as compared to other individuals. It has been evaluated that experience is the best teacher for these types of skills.
Also, the next factor is related to motive and wants. It has been analyzed that the motives and wants of the individual give influence on the perception. For example: a person who is hungry can recognize the food items and also the attention cannot be directed towards other things until he or she is satisfied. So, perception is also affected by the motive and wants of an individual. When the wants are not satisfied then perception is also affected by this. Also if the focus is given on organization it has been seen that boss who is not secure perceives that their employees should do an outstanding job so that a threat to the position can be reduced. The personal insecurity can be converted into perception (Kirrane et al., 2017).
Also, it has been seen that there are various factors that have given impact on the perceptions. It not only give negative impact on understanding the ideas and ideologies but also prevents to evaluate the behavior of the people that what they really are. One of the distortions is related to stereotypes. It is has been evaluated that this distortion shades the characteristics of the individual by tagging with their age, culture, gender and also the ethnic background. A stereotype is considered one of the factors that have given impact perception. It has been analyzed in this that people give the tag to the people on the basis of religion and gender. A stereotype is considered as oversimplified evaluative view or judgment about the group and this is only for an individual. For instance: it has been seen that when 10 people stay together in a group then they discuss and create a perception of the individual. Stereotyping is common in the society and it also gives adverse impact on the people. There are various negative impacts which can be analyzed in the work relationships. In reference to stereotyping the impact is seen on the entire productivity level (Hamilton, 2015).
Factors Affecting Perception in the Workplace
Next is a halo effect that distorts the perception by considering the characteristics of an individual and convert it into generalization in relation to the behavior. In this way the other traits of the individual become invisible. Halo effect takes place when one positive characteristic of an individual is considered to create an overall impression of that person on others (Walker, Zhang, and Yu, 2016).
Next factor is related to projection. It is considered a defense mechanism which helps to secure unacceptable thoughts and feelings. Distortion takes place when one individual focuses on tagging the others according to their own needs and personal point of view. In this, the characteristics of the individual are shadowed and it is stated that solution that can assist on the personal level should be also best for the others (Olins, 2017). There are many individuals who think that other share their same perception in relation to the opinions and also help to improve the points (Huczynski, Buchanan and Huczynski, 2013).
Selective perception is also one of the factors that give impact on the perception. This bias focuses on describing a problem. Limited numbers of facts are considered and also the valuable facts are ignored.
Next factor is related with contrast effect in which the bias takes place when one compares the characteristics of an individual with other and also in a particular period of time. Also when this can be considered as a valid way to compare the interpretations will be different.
Recency effect also takes place when the latest information dominates the others. This distortion can take place when the HR manager emphasizes the performance of the employees within the few months.
Also one is related with a self-fulfilling prophecy. It gives impact on the individual perception by making the expectations that direct and help those expectations to be satisfied in a proper manner. Through this, it can be possible to get positive and negative outcomes at the time of interacting with the people and also it depends on the expectations.
Prejudice is also one of the factors which occur when people are prejudging on non-factual data and emotions. For instance: Individual considers the prejudice views towards people from a specific race.
It has been analyzed that there are various factors related to perception distortion but it is important for the companies and for the individuals to overcome it so that overall satisfaction level can be enhanced. By overcoming this it has been seen that positive impact can be seen in the overall productivity level of the employees and also people will feel satisfied and happy. Therefore, it is important to minimize it and the ways that can minimize the overall effects of the perceptual distortions are many. The first way is related to perceptual process works. It is important to consider this so that errors which are involved in perception can be minimized. It is important to consider the process of perceptual works so that it can be reduced. By having a proper understanding of the entire process it can be easy for the individual to do their job by reducing the overall negative effect (Hoisington, 2015).
Perception and Stereotyping
One person can have a comparison with the other person if they are from different backgrounds or training. So, communication is the best way through which it can be easy to sort out the differences. It is important to have proper communication so that negative feelings for others can be reduced and also people can do their job in an effective manner. By having proper interaction between the people it can be simple for them to share their views and opinions with each other. Also, it is important for the people to know each other or to have a proper understanding of the view as it can help to evaluate that when one individual is wrong. It is essential to listen and understand the other individual point of view so that clarity can be made and perceptions can be accordingly. The people should not try to convince the other person that you are right or wrong instead of proper interaction and the listening process should be taken into consideration. By having the proper information it has been seen that negative impact can be reduced and also people can easily communicate that can give benefit on the overall outcome of the company (Knies and Leisink, 2014).
The next step on which focus should be given is related to change. It is important for the people to have the willingness to change them when they see any new information. If an individual is taking any decision then it is important not to jump on the conclusion but it is important to gather proper information before making decisions (Georgalis et al., 2015). It has been seen that information should be factual so that errors can be avoided and the right actions can be considered. If there is no proper information then people should not make any decisions as it can give negative impact and can also result in the overall loss. Gathering of the right information is important so that proper decisions can be taken without any negative effect. It is important to consider proper information so that conflicts can also be reduced.
The last step on which focus should be given is related to perceptual errors that can reduce the overall performance of the employees and can also affect the decision-making system. It has been seen that the overall effect can also be affected of the company if proper decisions are not considered. If there are errors then it can also give impact on the decision-making process of the company and also the decisions which are taken can affect individual life (Urban and Wood, 2015).
So, to enhance the overall performance and also to motivate the employees it is important to focus on reducing perceptual errors so that the effectiveness of the company can be enhanced (Thompson and McHugh, 2009).
Therefore, by analyzing the paper it has been concluded that are many factors that affect the perception like stereotyping, selective perception and contrast effect. It is important to minimize these factors so that it can be simple for companies and individuals to achieve their goals and objectives. To reduce these factors it is important to focus on proper communication process and also on the minimizing the perpetual errors so that overall employee's performance can be maintained and satisfaction level of the individual can be enhanced.
Also, it has been evaluated that through communication process it can be simple for the employees to get information from each other in the right manner. If employees have the wrong perception for each other then it can also give a negative impact on the environment. It is also important for the people to consider proper perceptual process so that negative thoughts can be reduced and the positive outcome can be achieved. Also, it has been evaluated that proper information should be considered so that it can be simple to generate ideas and thoughts.
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