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?
In the current complicated and diverse organisations, it is very rare that two people have same mind-set and thinking. Every individual and organisation has their own mind-sets or views or perception towards something. Perception is a procedure by which persons mentally establish some sort of sensual info in their environment in order to give it a meaning that can help them to recognize why things might not always like the way they are viewing it. In simple terms, perceptions could be defined as the procedure of observation and interpretation. Another important aspect that helps individuals and organisations is bias. In terms of definition, bias can be referred as the inadequate valuation between two different substitutes that typically puts one option in a favourable place and other in an unfavourable one. Perception and bias at the place of work are effected by many features that can outline and occasionally also disrupt or misrepresent the views. Every individual and organisations has their own set of personal appearances such as character, age, gender, values, attitudes, goals, purposes, outlooks, which interrupts how an individual or an organisation understands the world and the atmosphere around them.
This essay will discuss the factors that limit and distort the perception of an individual and organisation and lead to bias. Along with it, the study will also illustrate the strategies that individuals and organisations can utilise to overcome this biasness.
Factors that limits and distorts the perception and lead to bias
Perception and bias at the place of work are effected by many features that can form and sometimes also disrupt or misrepresent the views (Dolgov, 2009). Every individual and organisations has their personal set of individualities such as behaviour, age, sex, culture, approaches, goals, purposes, prospects, which interrupts how an individual or an organisation reads the world and the atmosphere around them. Same personal characteristics can be seen in others which are used to develop perceptions (Sahar, 2014). But the context on which the perception gets developed is also very important for individuals and organisation. When personal characteristics and context are taken into deliberation, it is easy to understand how quickly opinions regarding a same thing could vary from person to person. At the workshop, the insights of the people which they have regarding each other can importantly disturb the way in which an organisation functions.
Individual’s senses help them to gain basic information about its surroundings and also basic inputs about the world. These inputs or information are used to put them in order in such a way that are beneficial to individuals and their attempts in dealing with the surroundings (Sloos and McKeown, 2015). Individuals gather these inputs with the help of four different stages namely, stimuli, registering, organising and analysing. The last stage of the stated procedure which is the interpretation and analysis is called as perception (Pronin, 2007). The perception of an individual gets distort by number of individual factors such as needs of the perceiver, past experience, emotional mind set and many more. Here are the major factors that limit and distort the perception of an individual and contribute to bias:
A cognitive bias is referred to the methodical pattern of the abnormality from norm or rationality in judgment in which implications about the others and situations may be drawn into an irrational fashion (Hales and Johnson, 2014). According to this paradigm, individuals create their own pattern of particular social reality from their insight of the input (Sloos and McKeown, 2015). In terms of definition, cognitive bias can be referred as the attempts of the individual to simplify the information procedures. It is evident that people sometimes takes shortcuts which lead them towards a wrong path. Here are some of the cognitive biases:
Stereotypy can is seen in places where individuals and organisations see some certain attributes or traits in connection or association with a specific group as an outcome of their specialisation on a specific culture (Kristovics et al., 2011). Stereotyping is a situation when an individual or organisation judges someone on the basis of their perception of the group to which the person belongs.
Halo effect can be taken as the tendency or predisposition to critic or review the particular qualities and attributes from a general notion about just one quality or attribute. Any individual or organisation that works under the halo effect simple assumes a tailored or adapted rational consistency of certain attributes (Howgego, 2015). Under this, an individual is admired for one of his or her trait through which he or she will be rated well on other traits as well. A halo effect is considered as the outcome in an area due to factors derived from another (Kozzowski, 2016). The halo effect is a type of cognitive bias which is an overall imprint of an individual effect on how they feel and think about their specific characters. As for illustration, the halo effect can be seen on the actions regarding the overall impression of celebrities. People perceive then attractive and successful which also tends them to think celebrities as intelligent, kind and funny.
According to the Psychologist Edward Thorndike, characteristics included in the halo effect are the leadership, physical appearance, intelligence, loyalty and dependability. Another example of halo effect can be seen in classroom (Karthick, 2010). If a teacher who sees a well-behave student is good in academic tend to assume that the specific student is also bright and engaged with other teachers and students in good manner. In the context of organisation, halo effect can be seen at the workplace (Jussim, 2012). The stated effect is most likely to show up in a manager’s assessment regarding an assistant’s working presentation. The supervisor may develop the total perception about the subordinate on a single feature of the worker such as passion.
Projection is a type of cognitive bias that develops when an individual perceives some specific attributes in others that are actually his or her own but are not desirable to him or humiliating to other (Pronin, 2007). According to several studies, people who themselves have some specific negative trait rates others very high on the same traits. It is a kind of projection bias that persons are disposed to scheme their present penchant to future penchant prediction and to overstate the degree in which their future liking will bear a resemblance to their present one (Hales and Johnson, 2014). It has been seen in many studies that this kind of trait or phenomenon in different judgement and decision making situations. Some of the factors that influence the projection bias are the endogenous factors that consist of emotional state and need, and the exogenous factors such as weather condition and choosing situation (Vassilopoulos and Moberly, 2012). In simple terms, projection bias occurs with individuals and organisation when they behave as if their future choices will be more likely to their present choices.
According to psychologist Alan Marlatt, projection bias hints people to overrate their own ability to battle the temptations around them while declining the attempts to work out the self-control. According to him, people might feel greater self-assurance regarding their capability to cope with the enticement when they are in cool state. It is the confidence that leads people to let them down on their guard (Hales and Johnson, 2014). Projection bias can also get developed interpersonally. When an individual projects his or her feelings onto another person, he or she may make that individual resemble him or herself and could deliver insight to the person. In the projection bias, individuals project their own current information on themselves in the past.
Selective Perception is a type of cognitive bias that tends to focus on the people’s attention on the issues that they relate to their own interests, experiences, attitudes, not only in pointing their perception about the others but also in any situation (Hales and Johnson, 2014). Every organisation and individual has some cognitive biases that get developed due to some specific expectations that they may have. Once a person pampers himself or herself in the selective perception due to some active thinking, he or she can relocate this information to long-term memory.
The attribution theory eventually explains how people identify the reasons for the other people behaviours. This theory is about how people interpret events and in their minds and relates them to the way they think or behave. Attribution theory is termed as the psychological theory that attempts to explain the behaviour and is very useful in the management of the organisations. Attribution theory is significant for the associations as it assist managers to comprehend some of the cause of worker behaviour and can assist workers in accepting their own way of thinking regarding their own behaviour (Gelfand, Chiu and Hong, 2011). If a person can understand why he or she is behaving in a certain way and could also recognise why others are behaving in a certain way, then that person could have better understanding of yourself, others and organisation. The perception regarding the causes of particular behaviour could affect the judgement and actions of both the employees and the managers. Attribution theory could also play an important role in the motivation of the employees.
Strategies to overcome biasness in perception
In general, individual’s simple tends to assume that others are internally responsible for their own behaviour as they are not aware of all the impacting factors (Vassilopoulos and Moberly, 2012). Thus, it is important for organisations and individuals to minimise the biases in the perceptions. Here are several strategies that could be used to reduce the bias in perception:
The first strategy is identifying and confronting the stereotypes. Changing the understanding biases is a proof that individual is acknowledging employees with a same eye. Though it is usual to rely on the stereotypes, perceptions are sure to result on the outlay of someone else (Attarha and Moore, 2014). It is important to recognise the stereotypes that individuals or organisations are holding. By doing so, individuals will helped to be more aware of them for minimizing their impact on their behaviour.
Another approach that could reduce the biasness in perception is by evaluation of the people on the basis of objective factors. The more impartial the information an individual use top judge others, the less their judgements will be theme to perceptual distortion (Karthick, 2010). Another thing that can be done is avoiding the rash judgements. It is evident that human jumps to conclusion on what people are like, even when they know very little about them. It is important that organisations or individuals take considerable time to know the individual properly.
The third approach that could be used to reduce bias is by taking the visible action. As an organisation executes its strategy it is important to seek some tactics that are visible and then promote the actions which needs to be taken. But it is also important to state here that changing perceptions needs more than those with negative perceptions seeking what are different. It is important to state that people and individuals must feel the change (Attarha and Moore, 2014). Measuring the progress is also important. It is important that individuals regularly check the views on the basis of some initial critics. By engaging in some of the critics in the strategy development procedures, an individual can diminish his or her perceptions.
It has been found in the study that perception and bias at the factory are effected by many factors that can form and occasionally also disrupt or misrepresent the views. Every individual and organisations has their own set of personal appearances such as personality, age, gender, culture, attitudes, goals, motives, prospects, which interrupts how an individual or an organisation understands the world and the atmosphere around them. Same personal characteristics can be seen in others which are used to develop perceptions. For reducing the biasness in perception, it is important to recognise the stereotypes that individuals or organisations are holding. By doing so, individuals will helped to be more aware of them for minimizing their impact on their behaviour. The study revealed that for diminishing distort in perception measuring the progress is also important. It is important that individuals regularly check the views on the basis of some initial critics. By engaging in some of the critics in the strategy development procedures, an individual can diminish his or her perceptions.
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