Perception is a process by which an individual organize and interpret their sensory impressions in order to give meaning to their environment. Perception is a process that all people take part in as we move through the course of events in our daily lives. When we meet people, make business decisions, evaluate performances, or pass judgments, our perception surrounding such events help persuade our next course of direction (Goldstein, 2006). In a sense, perception, accurate or flawed, is our reality. Robbins (2005) defines perception as a process that individuals go through, influenced by surrounding stimuli and sensory impressions, to define their surrounding environment. Causes that shape or distort our perceptions have a tremendous effect on the impact of an organization's behavior. Individuals, by nature, develop perceptive shortcuts when passing judgment and inflect both positive and negative effects. In exploring perception, we can see how decisions are made in real world organizations and how these perceptions shape ethical and moral decisions.
A person's perception of others is developed initially by visual cues, statements made by others, or by characteristics surrounding personal behavior (Goldstien, 2006). When developing perception of others, one first develops a judgment surrounding internal and external factors influencing an individual. For example, one might infer that the homeless man on the corner has had made poor decisions in life, has a substance abuse problem, or is a con-artist (internal factors). However, one might also infer that the homeless man has an untreated mental illness, was abandoned as a child, or has been dealt a bad hand in life (external factors). Robbins (2005) gives three types of applications that define the development of personal perception; the arbitration theory, fundamental attribution error, and self-serving bias. The arbitration theory tells us that when individuals observe behavior, they will define whether...
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