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Unformatted text preview: Perception Errors 2 Introduction Understanding perceptions and the process by which they develop and occur is critically important to the field of Organizational Behavior. Perceptions form the very base that this field seeks to study – behavior. Since perceptions are not reality based, it is important for managers to identify address instances where errors in them occur. This understanding serves to decrease or avoid errors during the perception process, which in turn minimizes flawed decisions and helps to maintain healthy relationships with stakeholders in an organization. The purpose of this paper is to identify, discuss and analyze specific errors committed during a perception process outlined in the Appendix, hereafter referred to as “the case.” Method To best identify the perception errors evident in the case, the 4 stages of the perception process are used to frame the brief time span in which the case occurs. The 4 stages are described below, along with brief discussions of them as they relate to the case. 1.) Attention Stage – During this initial stage, certain details about the environment are absorbed by the individual subject making the perceptions. In this case, the environment is an office room occupied by 3 people and the perceiving subject, Karen, a newly hired financial analyst. Karen is only aware of the 3 positions held by the people in the office she is entering, but not the specific matches of person to position within the company. Given that it is Karen’s first day on the job and that one of the people in the room is her boss, the saliency of determining the identity of her boss is most likely a priority, and she undoubtedly uses selective screening to aid in this determination. During this stage, saliency is influenced heavily by Karen’s needs, and also by the physical characteristics of the 3 occupants in the office. In Perception Errors 3 addition to the physical characteristics of the 3 people in the room, differences between them will also affect the focus of her attentions. 2.) Interpretation and Categorization Stage – Perception errors are quite common during this stage of the process, especially in periods where rapid observation is required. Due to the rapidity, observations can be quite automatic and absent of consciousness as to how they are interpreted and subsequently categorized by the perceiver. In Karen’s case, it could be argued that the nervousness associated with the first day of employment might contribute to the automatic nature of her observations, thereby increasing the chance for error. To illustrate the possibility for perception error, refer...
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- Summer '08
- perception errors