Four Stages Of Perception

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1.1 Perception
Human beings have individual differences. These differences influence the way we see and analyse situations and information. Every individual in an organisation has his or her own distinctive picture or image of the actual situation and this is a complicated and vigorous process. One may regard some piece of information as important whereas the other may regard it as worthless. Our perception is usually influenced by our individual expectations so that we ‘see’ what we expect to see or hear what we expect to ‘hear’. For instance the scenario below;
John had breached the law and was sent to prison. After serving his sentence returns and gets a job. Everyone seemed to like him for his hard work until one day a co-worker complains
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Our interactions with the environment bombard us with stimuli that affect our sense of sight, hearing, touch, smell. The stimuli that any individual decides to focus on are determined by the differences between the individual and others.
Perception is the root of all organisational behaviour; any situation can be analysed in terms of its perceptual connotations. (Mullins & Laurie, 2010)
The perception process follows four stages:
Stimulation –where the individual receives stimulus from the environment that he or she reacts with through the senses of touch, smell, hearing, sight and taste.
Registration –this is where the stimulus the individual chooses to react to is selected psychologically.
Organisation –this is the categorisation of stimulus or information based on the person’s beliefs, prior experiences, knowledge and culture.
Interpretation – where the individual analyses and interprets stimulus or information based on beliefs, prior experiences, knowledge and culture.
1.1.1 Social
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Every individual has a different perception about another depending on experiences. The characteristics and physical properties of the individual is the same, but they are perceived quite differently because each individual has imposed upon the person their own interpretations, their own judgement and evaluation. An example is the given scenario of John Mensah. Based on information received about John that he is an ex-convict almost all employees concluded he was the culprit when money was reported missing from the petty cash. John is therefore socially perceived to be a thief. However, his Manager (Diana) has a different perception based on her experience and judgement.
1.1.2 Factors that Influence Perception
Though individuals are exposed to the same stimulus or view the same thing they perceive it in different ways. A number of factors function to direct and sometimes divert perception. These factors can exist in in the perceiver; in the object, or target, being perceived; or in the context of the situation in which the perception is made. (Stephen & Timothy, 2013)
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