In psychology, perception is the process of acquiring, interpreting, selecting, and organizing sensory information. Many psychologists state that, as we live in this world, we make a model of how the world works. We sense the objective world, but our sensations map to these percepts which are provisional. As we come across new information, our percepts change. (Wikipedia, 2006)
A number of factors shape and sometimes distort perception. These can arise in the perceiver, in the object being perceived, or in the context of the situation. (Robbins, 2005)
When a person looks at an object and tries to determine what they see, that perception is influenced by the personal characteristics of the perceiver. Personal characteristics affecting perception are attitudes, personality, motives, interests, past experiences, and expectations. (Robbins, 2005) Characteristics of the object being perceived can affect what is seen. Boisterous people will be noticed in a group more than quiet ones, extremely attractive or unattractive individuals as well. Because targets are not looked at alone, the relationship of an object to its background also determines perception, as does our tendency in grouping similar things. Women, people of color, or members of another group are often perceived as alike as well. (Robbins, 2005)
Our perceptions of people differ from objects such as desks, machines, or buildings because of the actions of people. Nonliving objects are subject to the laws of nature, but they have no beliefs, motives, or intentions, people do, and as a result when we observe people, we develop reasons why they behave in certain ways. Perceptions and judgment will be influenced by assumptions made about that person's internal state. (Robbins, 2005)
We use a number of shortcuts when it comes to judging others and events in our lifetime. (Robbins, 2005) Selective Perception; is any characteristic that makes a...