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Comm 151 - Chapter 3

Perception, Attribution and Diversity

What is perception? • The process of interpreting the messages of our sense to provide order and meaning for our environment
Perceptual Defense the tendency for the perceptual system to defend the perceiver against unpleasant emotions
Social Identity Theory • A theory that states that people form perceptions of themselves based on their characteristics and memberships in social categories
Personal Vs Social Identity o Personal identity- unique personal skills, abilities and traits o Social identity- perception that we belong to various social groups, gender, nationality, religion, occupation
Three Characteristics of Perceptual Process • Selective- special emphasis cues • Constancy- perceived the same way, across situations and over time • Consistency- tendency to select, ignore and distort cues that aren’t part of the target picture
Primacy and Recency Effect • Primacy- the tendency for a perceiver to rely on early cues or first impressions o Form of selectivity and is the first basis for constancy • Recency- the tendency for a perceiver to rely on recent cues or last impressions
Reliance on Central Traits • Central traits- personal characteristics of a target person that are of particular interest to a perceiver o Research has shown overwhelming tendency for attractive people being perceived better
Implicit Personality Traits • Personal theories that people have about which personality characteristics go together o (ie hard working people are honest, intelligent people are relatively nice)
Projection • The tendency for perceivers to attribute their own thoughts and feelings to others o People with similar backgrounds often do think and feel similarly, however cannot always be justified
Stereotyping • The tendency to generalize about people in a certain social category and ignore variations among them o We distinguish some category of people o We perceive that everyone in this category possesses these traits
Dispositional vs Situational Attributes • Dispositional attributes: explanation of a behaviour based on the actor’s personality or intellect • Situational attributes: explanation of a behaviour based on the actor’s external situation or environment
Consistency Cues (does the person engage in this behaviour regularly)
Consensus Cues (do most people engage in the behaviour, or is it unique to this person)
Distinctiveness Cues (does the person engage in the behaviour in many situations, or is it distinctive to one situation)
Fundamental Attribution Error o The tendency to overemphasize dispositional explanations for behaviour at the expense of situational explanations
Actor-Observer Effect o The propensity for actors and observers to view the causes of the actor’s behaviour differently
Self-Serving Bias o The tendency to take credit for successful outcomes and to deny responsibility for failures
Organizational Support Theory a theory that states that employees who have strong perceptions of organizational support feel an obligation to care about the organization’s welfare and to help the organization achieve its objectives
Created by: c.bertrand



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