Meaning of perception:
It is surprising that we receive some objects and reject others. It is equally surprising that an object received is understood differently by different people. Some view a painting as beautiful while others may see the same painting as ugly. The answer is perception, a strong component of human organism.
In its simple sense perception is understood as the act of seeing what is there to be seen. But what is seen is influenced by the perceiver, the object, and the environment. The meaning of perception will be complete when all the three aspects are stressed. A few definitions of perception are given below:
(i) “Perception is the process of becoming aware of situations, of adding meaningful associations to sensations.”
(ii) “Perception can be defined as the process of receiving, selecting, organizing, interpreting, checking, and reacting to sensory stimuli or data.”
(iii) “Perception can be defined as a process by which individuals organize and interpret their sensory impressions in order to give meaning to their environments.”
(iv) “Perception includes all those processes by which an individual receives information about his environment - seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting, and smelling. The study of these perceptional processes shows that their functioning is affected by three classes of variables - the objects or events being perceived, the environment in which perception occurs, and the individual doing the perceiving.
The last definition is comprehensive.
Nature & Importance of Perception:
We often behave on the basis of what we perceive. What we perceive may not always be true. In the darkness, we often mistake a rope for a snake and consequently, we make a hasty retreat or use a stick. No, wonder that half a glass of water is viewed as half empty by some and half full by others.
It is nothing but perception wherein one draws relevant information from the environment and attaches meaning to it. There are unique differences in the perceptions of individuals even though the perceived object or environment may be a stable one makes people behave differently.
People appraise different aspects of the environment on the basis of their individual experiences and evaluate what they experience in terms of their needs and values.
A specific example would be the universal assumption made by managers that subordinates always want promotions, when, in fact, many subordinates really feel psychologically forced to accept a promotion in other words, the perceptual world of the manager is quite different from the perceptual world of the subordinate, and both may be very different from reality.
It is equally surprising that an object received is understood differently by different people. Some view a painting as beautiful while others may see the same painting as ugly. Why these phenomena? The answer is perception, a strong component of human organism.
Every person perceives the world and approaches the life problems differently. This factor is very important in understanding human behavior. We buy what we like best and what is best. It is because of perception that a particular job may appear a good job to one and bad to another.
If people behave on the basis of their perception then changing behavior in a pre determined direction could be made easier by understanding their present perception of the world.
People act as they perceive and different people perceive things differently. People’s perception is determined by their needs.
Perception is an important dynamite for the manager who wants to avoid making errors when dealing with people and events in the work settings. A manger’s response to a situation, for example, may be misinterpreted by a subordinate who perceives the situation very differently. In order to deal with subordinates effectively, a manager must understand their perception properly.