Decision Making

Topics: Perception, Psychology, Attribution theory Pages: 5 (1331 words) Published: November 7, 2006

An employee does an unsatisfactory job on an assigned project. Explain the attribution process that this person's manager will use to form judgments about this employee's job performance.

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 that assigned to them is lousy and feel unsatisfactory, that employee will behave accordingly. It is the employee's perception of a situation that becomes the basis for his or her behavior. The employee who perceives his/her supervisor as a hurdle reducer who helps him/her do a better job and the employee who sees the same supervisor as "big brother, closely monitoring for every motion. The difference has nothing to do with the reality of the supervisor's actions; the difference in employee behavior is due to different perceptions.

Person perception: Making judgments about employees' performance

Attribution theory
Attribution theory suggests that when we observe an individual's behavior, we attempt to determine whether it was internally or externally caused. That determination depends largely on three factors: distinctiveness, consensus, and consistency. Our perceptions of people differ from our perceptions of inanimate objects.

We make inferences about the actions of people that we do not make about inanimate objects. People have beliefs, motives, or intentions. Attribution theory suggests that when we observe an individual's behavior, we attempt to determine whether it was internally or externally caused. That determination depends largely on three factors: 1.Distinctiveness

Internally caused behaviors are those that are believed to be under the personal control of the individual. Externally caused behavior is seen as resulting from outside causes; that is, the person is seen as having been forced into the behavior by the situation.

Distinctiveness refers to whether an individual displays different behaviors in different situations. What we want to know is whether the observed behavior is unusual. If it is, the observer is likely to give the behavior an external attribution. If this action is not unusual, it will probably be judged as internal.

Consensus occurs if everyone who is faced with a similar situation responds in the same way. If consensus were high, you would be expected to give an external attribution to the employee's tardiness, whereas if other employees who took the same route made it to work on time, your conclusion as to causation would be internal.

Consistency in a person's actions. Does the person respond the same way over time? The more consistent the behavior, the more the observer is inclined to attribute it to internal causes.

Fundamental Attribution Error
There is substantial evidence that we have a tendency to underestimate the influence of external factors and overestimate the influence of internal or personal factors. There is also a tendency for individuals to attribute their own successes to internal factors such as ability or effort while putting the blame for failure on external factors such as luck. This is called the "self-serving bias" and suggests that recipients will distort feedback provided to employees.

Frequently Used Shortcuts in Judging Others
The ways which we organize and make judgments about what we have perceived is to a large extent based on our previous experiences and learning. There are cultural differences in the way the body language is perceived and interpreted. Judgment of other people can also be influenced by perceptions of such stimuli as, for example: ·Role or status

·Physical factor and appearance
· Body...
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