The way people relate with each other and at their places of work is highly affected by perceptions and personality. Managers are supposed to be aware of attention that is selective, some stereotypes and distortions that are attitudinal in nature. This leads to their effective contributions towards group dynamics, inequalities at work places and conflicts that are interpersonal. Therefore for managers to be assisted in their managing skills and also to be able to maximize on work place diversities, coach employees and also reduce on work place stresses they have to understand the fundamentals of the theory of social identity, perception and personality. Many roles that require a different set of skills and aptitudes are usually tied to personality this has increased the recognition of perceptions and personalities when it comes to recruiting people for various jobs.
Description of appropriate theory of perception and personality including current literature review for each
Every individual has a way in which they perceive and make sense of whatever is happening around us. At times people assume that some human behavior is a form of response to a reality that is objective however reality is more of a collective hunch as described by Lily Tomlin (Hyde et al., p 21). This kind of stimuli is also present in the environment around us however our individual differences affect whatever we choose to do with the said stimuli. The process of making sense out of the sensory data and therefore it involves the process of selecting and organizing the information from the environment so as to give experiences that are meaningful to the perceiver. For us not to be overwhelmed by the many stimuli around us perception serves as a filter (Hershcovis et al., p 231).Thus three aspects of perception have to be given much attention and they include data organization, attention that is selective and perceptual biasness. Information is often organized in relation to similarity, closure, proximity simplicity and continuity as well as whatever is in front and behind.
The patterns of perception basing on life experiences also exist and have become schemas. Information is then placed together to form cause and effect patterns. All the said then form the frames of reference. This frame is thus the one efficient in managing the stimuli in the environment. Our attention actually becomes focused out of this. For the selective attention one only perceives those stimuli that are present around them (Edwards and Lambert, p 13). Only that information that seems to fit in the frame of reference that exists is given selective attention. Once one uses selective attention, their ability to perceive information that is out of the frame is limited automatically. The way we organize information and intentional focus leads to various perceptual distortions such as stereotyping, self fulfilling prophesies and projections (Mcdonnell et al., p 3).
Sankhya theory of perception
According to this system or rather theory the existence of a real object on the outside provides the stimulus for perception. Thus an object that is real and on the outside is given to the consciousness of perception. The right perception object is never an illusion but rather of real nature and its value is practical. Ones senses usually gives an apprehension that is direct and exists truly in which someone is very much aware in the perception that is right. In this regard therefore only a perception that is indeterminate is afforded by the senses (Hershcovis and Barling, p 281). An immediacy of objectivity in form of ‘this is an object’ is also available to the senses. This is in some regards taken to be a perception that is of bare abstract. The nature of ‘I know the object’ also has some perception that is concrete and determinate and its further present in the Antahkarana. There is a contemplation of the mind on whatever the senses supplies it with and its order is given as well as the definiteness through acts of deliberation and synthesis. It’s from this that a perception of an object being ‘this’ and not ‘that’ is born.
However the perception process does not end here. The Ahamkara which is usually an individual ego makes an arrogate of itself the function of resultant of the mind undergoing transformations in their perception that is impersonal into some knowledge that is personal. The perception is able to make reference to a particular person due to the empirical principle that focuses on individuality. The intellect individuals are then in a position to make a decision on the nature in which the ego is being perceived and decide on the action to be taken. Once the intellect is understood, a will and the determination to take action follow (Ashforth, et al., p 151).Therefore all the seeds that one possesses in regards to any perceived object are usually planted in the intellects consciousness. Therefore Sankhya implies that volition and perceptions are often experienced by Purusha that relates to the intellects. The intelligence to understand and make decisions is thus entirely given to the intellects.
Personality is defined as a set of individual characteristics that are distinctive and may include interests, values, emotions, competencies and attitudes. When personal traits interact with the environment they bring about personality (Naumann, et al., p 1671). Personality is measured using inventories of self report personality, tests that are projective, simulation observations, interviews as well as role plays. This enables one to identify and also articulate attributes and traits of an individual. When one answers a series of questions about themselves, it’s referred to as inventories that are self reporting. The responses given are in the end organized to give insights about their personality. The projective tests gives one an opportunity to give a response in a picture or story that is free flowing (Taylor, Bedeian and Kluemper, p 7). These are projective tests because one is at liberty to interpret and perceive the given materials in any manner that may be a reflection of their personality. The observation techniques are used to put someone in situations where they can see or give responses. This technique is achieved using interviews related to employment and case competitions. These giving the test usually look for someone’s skills related to solving problems, competences at work places and ones fitness in the culture of an organization.
Freud’s theory of personality
According to Freud several factors make up someone’s personality i.e. processes that are unconscious, drives that are instinctive such as aggression and food drives and finally influences in the early childhood development and this is more so to the parents (Milam, Spitzmueller and Penney, p 63). During the first five years of development there exists an instinct and environmental interplay which affects the personality development. The normal and abnormal development of a child is dependent on the parental behavior. Any mental health and personality problems seen in adulthood are mostly related to the first five years of one’s developmental stages (Tinwell, Nabi and Charlton , p 1621).For psychosexual developments some people including the children are in most cases hedonistic i.e. they have a drive to seek for pleasure through the gratification of the desires of Id’s. The location of the libido determines the sources of pleasure. Therefore the location of libido changes as the child ages and therefore the desires also change.
Therefore according to Feud someone’s personality develops as a result of any interactions existing between the key structures of one’s mind i.e. id, ego and superego. The id is the most primitive form of the said structures and is focused on gratification that is instant regarding urges and physical needs. Its operations are out of unconsciousness (Serfass and Sherman, p 711). For instance when one walks into a hotel and sits next to someone eating fries they are likely to order for the same meal. It rarely cares about someone’s feelings about their choice provided the desire is satisfied. For the super ego instincts they are mostly concerned with rules and morals of the society. This is in relation to what we refer to as moral compass or conscience. This is a development from the things the child learns in relation to their culture as to whether something is right or wrong. Therefore with the superego one will not walk into the hotel and order whatever the person sited next to has ordered first (Mitchell and Ambrose, p 1163). But with a strong id then it may override the superego then one will still do the unconsciousness act of ordering for the same meal. This however comes with some guilt afterwards.
For the ego part it’s mostly rational when it comes to personality. Its primitively is quite less and it is either partly conscious or unconscious (Paunonen and Hong, p 810). According to Feud it’s the ‘self’ and it therefore strikes a balance between the id and superego. Therefore with the same scenario in the hotel the ego strikes a balance between ordering the same meal or different one and makes the right decision. With this sacrifices have to be made before good decisions are arrived at. It’s more of compromising on situation for the other or both in totality. Conclusively therefore Feud indicates that the three i.e. id, superego and ego are in most cases in a conflict and therefore any behavior and personality of an adult are in most cases having their roots in the childhood struggles (Neff, et al., p 5).He therefore is of the belief that any person with a strong ego has in most cases personalities that are healthy and in case of any imbalances in their systems they are likely to get neurosis i.e. depression and anxiety together with other unhealthy behaviors.
Practical application of theories to workplace for managers
The two main theories related to perception and personality can be applied in various workplaces for good working by managers.
Theory of perception
With perception theory managers are better placed when it comes to making decisions regarding their employees. Many erroneous assumptions are likely to be made following perceptions that may be faulty (Musek, p 1228).
Managing perceptions- there is usually some difficulties in coping at work places if people constantly find themselves in situations that are ambiguous and unfamiliar. The objectives too many ideas are handled by effective business professionals through clearly stating any benefits to all the involved parties. A compelling case for their ideas is usually presented where approvals are given on any proposed strategy even under opposition or confrontation (Rodell and Judge, p 1448). Good managers who actively recognize perceptions and attributes of others should be able to build on justifications for any approach taken and give needed support.
Handling of attributions-if perceptions can be faulty even attributions can be inaccurate. Success is mostly attributed to chance, luck or skills. Most of situational reactions are as a result of one’s thoughts on an event at present. Diversity training can be provided by managers to ensure employees actions are attributed in an effective way (Wang, et al., p 330). The training does away with hostile working environments especially if one has employees from different cultures. Daily operations are run more smoothly by the training given on accurate attributions. Faulty attributions are also avoided such as those managers who believe exceptional performance is attributed to chances only. Such managers often resist the assigning of work to employees that are qualified because to them that is luck.
Explaining behavior-people are evaluated by others basing on their personality, effort and abilities. Luck or difficulty of a task is also attributed to failure or success. The attributions made by people to themselves have an influence on their performance at work. Any successful work that has completed their trainings well have high levels of confidence while those that fail take themselves to be unlucky. Whether reactions occur consistently or inconsistently ultimately determines one’s perception and judgment about others (Mcdonnell, Breidt and Buelthoff, p 96). When one recognizes the cultural beliefs of others, their motives and even intentions they are better placed to understand their workers behaviors and correct situations that are non productive. Managers therefore react in an appropriate manner if they understand the causes of their employees’ behaviors.
Minimizing bias- effective team work is well fostered if the biasness that interferes with attribution is minimized. Use of the many tools, tips and resources present in the various websites like the cultural navigator site the managers are better placed to reduce on the rate at which people carry out selective interpretation of things ad events basing mainly on attitudes, backgrounds and experiences. A perception of a certain trait influences the other traits of an individual. This is called halo effect. For instance those people seen to be attractive are mistaken to be smart (Leiter, p 2). Trained managers with the ability to make perceptions that are accurate are able to carry out interviews that are effective and also do reviews and daily management tasks.
Theory of personality
Skills and aptitudes at work places are tied to personality. Any temperament manager cannot make a good motivational leader. A compatible personality is needed in whatever the kind of job one does. This has made personality an important aspect that organization looks for in individuals including managers.
Personality testing-it’s widely used in business and the industry involved in the assessment of someone’s disposition has grown tremendously. This explains why there are over 2500 questionnaires on personality for one to choose from (Barclay and Aquino, p 636). Thus the compatibility of one’s personality especially managers and employees can be assessed easily regardless of the type of job. Managers are given a defense against any legal dispute that may occur once attest is done especially regarding position allocations. For any manger that uses testing that is formalized they are better placed to have measurements that are quantifiable when it comes to justification of decisions regarding hiring processes.
Personality types-people tend to fit into one of the four basic personality types and the objective-focused as well as action oriented types just get right to the point (Hershcovis, p 501). These are usually cold because of their attempt to justify the methods for results however they end up being successful. Personalities that are social based are often friendly and dynamic in nature and their strengths are found in motivation and also communication compared to the given task to be completed. Those people with supportive personality have the tendency of shying away from decision making and conflict based situations however they are good at adopting to any changes and thus very dependable. While those people that are detail oriented are often in love with facts and good at perceiving things as well as information processing (Douglas et al., p 431). However they are very much pessimistic and critical in nature. Therefore each personality type has its own strengths and weaknesses. Therefore if a manager wants to assign his/her staff to some duties they have to keep in mind the personality of the individual and thus allows the shining of strengths and reducing on weaknesses.
Emotional intelligence- this is very important at work places especially for managers. This is because it affects the manifestation of one’s personality. Personality is inborn however any form of inclination that is posed by a person and their emotional intelligence are skills to be used by them to identify personal behaviors and thus easy to be managed in relation to the situations at hand (Carter, Mahler and Hodgins, p 12). For instance any manager that posses a personality that is socially oriented and has emotional intelligence that is good is better placed when it comes to at what stage they need to leave emotional behavior and just focus on work flow that is productive and also timely completion of tasks. This helps them to reduce on being over communicative and disruptive as well.
Successful staffing- a manager who wants to build their team or fill a vacancy has to focus on traits that are personality based which will see to it that they shine in their roles. This is as important as the consideration of trainings and the skills that have been acquired previously. As much as skills and information can be learned personality is inborn and hard to change (Aquino and Thau , p 720). A manager who is able to match the right skills with right personality experiences a lot of success in their work places.
Convincing recommendations and conclusions for an organization audience (HR, front line and senior management)
In as much as job stressors and antecedes have been recognized widely by researchers very little information is known considering the process in which staffs at work respond to workplace demands that are stressful and this is mostly as a result of mild interactions to intense behaviors resulting from personality and perceptions. The most frequent tendencies we have as human beings has been to quickly explain our or peoples behaviors in manners that make it look like its controllable, predictable and even orderly. Forgetting we all are prone to some errors mostly related to social judgment. This is much common at work places with the leadership teams towards their staffs. In most cases one is usually biased when it comes to observing other people behavior around them. We operate mostly on preconceived notions i.e. one sees what they expect to see and not what should be seen. Leaders and even many individuals are mostly swayed by stories and not facts that are vivid.
this has led to people defending their errors when it comes to social thinking with a lot of confidence in their judgments and this comes with a lot of great cost to those being judged or present in the organization. As if not enough people even make errors about themselves where they often see them in positive lights only and with views that are more generous about themselves. Nonetheless psychologists term this as a good thing because it forms the basis of one’ self esteem. The idea of self organization is mostly adaptive and assists one to succeed in life with much optimism, efficacy and a lot of happiness. And it’s obvious that this impacts positively on leaders at work places because the happier and more positive they are at work the nicer they are to other people. It’s therefore advisable for all the leaders such as HR and front office teams that interact mostly with people to master the art of understanding the personality of those they serve as well as work on their perception regarding work environments to better serve people in the organization.
Aquino, K., & Thau, S. (2009). Workplace victimization: Aggression from the target’s perspective. Annual Review of Psychology, 60, 717–741.
Ashforth, B. E., Kreiner, G. E., Clark, M. A., & Fugate, M. (2007). Normalizing dirty work: Managerial tactics for countering occupational taint. Academy of Management Journal, 50, 149–174.
Barclay, L. J., & Aquino, K. (2011). Workplace aggression and violence. In S. Zedeck (Ed.), APA handbook of industrial and organizational psychology (Vol. 3, pp. 615–640). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Carter, E., Mahler, M., and Hodgins, J. (2013). Unpleasantness of animated characters increases viewer attention to faces. In Proceedings of the ACM Symposium in Applied Perception, 35–40.
Conference on Automatic Face and Gesture Recognition. P11-14.
Douglas, S. C., Kiewitz, C., Martinko, M. J., Harvey, P., Kim, Y., & Chun, J. U. (2008) Cognitions, emotions, and evaluations: An elaboration likelihood model for workplace aggression. Academy of Management Review, 33, 425–451.
Edwards, J. R., & Lambert, L. S. (2007). Methods for integrating moderation and mediation: A general analytical framework using moderated path analysis. Psychological Methods, 12, 1–22. Elgar.
Hershcovis, M. S. (2011). “Incivility, social undermining, bullying . . . oh my!” A call to reconcile constructs within workplace aggression research. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 32, 499–519.
Hershcovis, M. S., & Barling, J. (2007). Towards a relational model of workplace aggression. In J. Langan-Fox, C. L. Cooper, & R. J. Klimoski (Eds.), Research companion to the dysfunctional workplace: Managementchallenges and symptoms (pp. 268–284). Cheltenham, UK: Edward
Hershcovis, M. S., Turner, N., Barling, J., Arnold, K. A., Dupre´, K. A., Inness, M., . . . Sivinathan, N. (2007). Predicting workplace aggression: A meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92, 228–238.
Hyde, J., Carter, E., Kiesler, S., and Hodgins, J. (2013). Perceptual effects of damped and exaggerated facial motion in animated characters. In Proceedings of the 10th IEEE International.p 21-24.
Leiter, M. P., Laschinger, H. K. S., Day, A., & Gilin-Oore, D. (2011). The impact of civility interventions on employee social behavior, distress, and attitudes. Journal of Applied Psychology. P 2-4. Advance online publication.
Mcdonnell, R., Breidt, M., and Buelthoff, H. (2012). Render me real Investigating the effect of render style on the perception of animated virtual humans. ACM Transactions on Graphics 31, 4, 91:1–91:11.
Mcdonnell, R., J¨Org, S., Mchugh, J., Newell, F. N., and O’sullivan, C. (2009). Investigating the role of body shape on the perception of emotion. ACM Transactions on Applied Perception (TAP) Pg 6, 3, 14.
Milam, A. C., Spitzmueller, C., & Penney, L. M. (2009). Investigating individual differences among targets of workplace incivility. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 14, 58–69.
Mitchell, M. S., & Ambrose, M. L. (2007). Abusive supervision and workplace deviance and the moderating effects of negative reciprocity beliefs. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92, 1159–1168.
Musek, J. (2007). A general factor of personality: Evidence for the big one in the five-factor model. Journal of Research in Personality 41, 6, 1213–1233.
Naumann, L. P., Vazire, S., Rentfrow, P. J., and Gosling, S. D. (2009). Personality judgments based on physical appearance. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 35, 12, 1661– 1671.
Neff, M., Wang, Y., Abbott, R., And Walker, M. (2010). Evaluating the effect of gesture and language on personality perception in conversational agents. In Intelligent Virtual Agents p 3-11.
Paunonen, S. V., and Hong, R. Y. (2013). The many faces of assumed similarity in perceptions of personality. Journal of Research in Personality 47, 6, 800–815.
Rodell, J. B., & Judge, T. A. (2009). Can “good” stressors spark “bad” behaviors? The mediating role of emotions in links of challenge and hindrance stressors with citizenship and counterproductive behaviors. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94, 1438–1451.
Serfass, D. G., and Sherman, R. A. (2013). Personality and perceptions of situations from the thematic apperception test. Journal of Research in Personality 47, 6, 708–718. Springer, 222–235.
Taylor, S. G., Bedeian, A. G., & Kluemper, D. H. (2011). Linking workplace incivility to citizenship performance: The combined effects of affective commitment and conscientiousness. Journal of Organizational Behavior. Advance online publication p 6-13.
Tinwell, A., Nabi, D. A., and Charlton, J. P. (2013). Perception of psychopathy and the uncanny valley in virtual characters. Computers in Human Behavior 29, 4, 1617–1625.
Wang, M., Liao, H., Zhan, Y., & Shi, J. (2011). Daily customer mistreatment and employee sabotage against customers: Examining emotion and resource perspectives. Academy of Management Journal, 54, 312–334.