Factors Influencing Perception
Perception is a process which individual organize and interpret their sensory impressions to give meaning to their environment.
When you look at a target, your interpretation of what you see is influenced by your personal characteristics-attitudes, personality, motives, interests, past experiences, and expectations. In some ways, we hear what we ant to hear and we see what we want to see – not because it’s the truth but because it confirms to our thinking.
For eg: Research indicates that supervisors perceived employees who started work earlier in the day as more conscientious and therefore as higher performers; however supervisors who were night owls themselves were less likely to make their erroneous assumption.
The Characteristics of the target also affect what we perceive. Because we don’t look at targets in isolation, the relationship of a target to its background influences perception, as does our tendency to group close things and similar things together.
For eg: We can also perceive women, men, whites, African Americans, Asians or members of any Group that has clearly distinguishable characteristics as alike in other, often unrelated ways. This can turn out to be positive as well as negative in some different contexts.
Context matters too. The Time at which we see an object or event can influence our attention, as can location, light, heat or situational factors. For Eg: We may not notice someone dressed up for a format event that we attended on a Saturday night, however, we will definitely notice the same on a Monday morning, if normally, students are not dressed formally in a college premise.