Perception and Individual Decision

Topics: Decision making, Cognition, Unsolved problems in neuroscience Pages: 5 (573 words) Published: February 3, 2011


A process by which individuals organize and interpret their sensory impressions in order to give meaning to their environment. Individuals behave in a given manner based not on the way their external environment actually is but, rather, on what they see or believe it to be. An organization may spend millions of dollars to create a pleasant work environment for its employees. However, in spite of these expenditures, if an employee believes that his or her job is lousy, that employee will behave accordingly. Absenteeism, turnover, and job satisfaction are also reactions to the individual’s perceptions. Dissatisfaction with working conditions or the belief that there is a lack of promotion opportunities in the organization.

Factor Influencing Perception

When an individual looks at target and attempt to interprate what he or she sees, That interpretation is heavily influenced by the personal character of individual perceiver,

Factor in the perceiver
➢ Attitude
➢ Motives
➢ Interests
➢ Experience
➢ Expectations

Factor in the Situation
➢ Time
➢ Work Setting
➢ Social setting

Factor in the target

➢ Novelty
➢ Motion
➢ Sounds
➢ Size
➢ Back Ground
➢ Proximity
➢ Similarity

Attribution theory

Attribution theory suggests that when we observe an individual’s behavior, we attempt to determine whether it was internally or externally caused. When individuals observe behavior, they attempt to determine whether it is internally or externally caused.

➢ Internal causes are under that person’s control.
➢ External causes are not – person forced to act in that way.

That determination depends largely on three factors:

Refers to whether an individual displays different behaviors in different situation.

Response is the same as others to same situation.

Responds in the same way over time.

Errors and biases in attributions
➢ Fundamental Attribution Error
The tendency to underestimate the influence of external factors and overestimate the influence of internal factors when making judgments about the behavior of others We blame people first, not the situation

➢ Self-Serving Bias
The tendency for individuals to attribute their own successes to internal factors while putting the blame for failures on external factors It is “our” success but “their” failure

Frequently Used Shortcuts in Judging Others
➢ Halo Effect

The halo effect occurs when we draw a general impression on the basis of a single characteristic. ➢ Contrast Effects
Our reaction to one person is influenced by other persons we have recently encountered. ➢ Projection
This tendency to attribute one’s own characteristics to other people—which is called projection—can distort perceptions made about others. ➢ Stereotyping
judging someone on the basis of our perception of the group to which he or she belongs ➢ Selective Perception
Any characteristic that makes a person, object, or event stand out will increase the probability that it will be perceived.


➢ Employment interview
➢ Performance expectations
➢ Performance evaluation
➢ Employee effort
➢ Employee loyalty
➢ Problem
A perceived discrepancy between the current state of affairs and a desired state ➢ Decisions
Choices made from among alternatives developed from data
Perception Linkage
➢ All elements of problem identification and the decision making process are influenced by perception. ➢ Problems must be recognized
➢ Data must be selected and evaluated

How Should Decisions Be Made?

The Rational Decision-Making Process
The optimizing decision maker is rational. He or she makes consistent,...
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