ECE _ DSST Organizational Behavior

Expectations can distort a persons perceptions in

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Expectations can distort a person’s perceptions in that they will see what they expect to see. If a person expects police officers to be authoritative, young people to be unambitious, personnel directors to “like people,” or individuals holding public office to be “power hungry,” a person may perceive them to be this way regardless of their actual traits Characteristics in the target that is being observed can affect what is perceived. Loud people are more likely to be noticed in a group than quiet ones. So, too, are extremely attractive or unattractive individuals. Motion, sounds, size, and other attributes of a target shape the way we see it. Because targets are not looked at in isolation , the relationship of a target to its background influences perception, as does our tendency to group close things and similar things together. Objects that are close together will tend to be perceived together rather than separately. Elements in the surrounding environment can influence one’s perception. Therefore, the situation in which objects or events are observed is important. For example, a person may not notice a 25-year-old female in an evening dress and heavy makeup at a nightclub on Saturday night, but that same woman dressed the same way in a Monday morning management class would catch most people’s attention . Nonliving objects are subject to the laws of nature, but they have no beliefs, motives, or intentions. People do. The Attribution theory has been proposed to develop explanations of the ways in which we judge people differently, depending on what meaning we attribute to a given behavior. 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 on distinctiveness, consensus, and consistency. Internally caused behaviors are those believed to be under the control of the individual, where externally caused behavior is seen as resulting from outside causes. An example of internal attribution is if an employee is late for work, and the boss
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attributes his lateness to partying into the wee hours of the morning and then oversleeping. Now if the boss attributed the tardiness to a major automobile accident that tied up traffic, that would be making an external attribution. The tendency to underestimate the influence of external factors and overestimate the influence of internal factors when making judgments about the behavior of others is called a fundamental error. There are errors and biases that can distort perception. This theory can explain why a sales manager is prone to attribute the poor performance of her sales agents to laziness rather than the innovative product line introduced by a competitor. Individuals tend to attribute their own successes to internal factors like ability or effort while putting the blame for failure on external factors like luck.
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