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BUSN2007 Lecture-3

Lecture outline
1. Outline the perceptual process. 2. Explain how we perceive ourselves and others through social identity. 3. Discuss the accuracy of stereotypes. 4. Describe the attribution process and two attribution errors. 5. Diagram the self-fulfilling prophecy process. 6. Discuss three types of diversity initiatives. 7. Explain how the Johari Window can help improve our perceptions. 8. Identify the ‘Big Five’ personality dimensions. 9. Discuss the psychological dimensions identified by Jung and measured in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.

Perception and personality in organisations

Why do so few women opt for careers in Engineering and Information Technology?
•Sex-role stereotyping •Fewer role models •Low self-confidence •Image of industry

Perceptual process model
Environmental stimuli Feeling Hearing Seeing Smelling Tasting

Selective attention Organisation and interpretation Emotions and behaviour

© Ian Cugley/News Limited

Selective attention
• Characteristics of the object
–size, intensity, motion, repetition, novelty

Perceptual organisation/interpretation • Perceptual grouping principles
–trends –similarity/proximity –closure

• Perceptual context • Characteristics of the perceiver
–values and attitudes –perceptual defence –expectations − condition us to expect events

• Mental models
–broad world-views or ‘theories-in-use’ –can blind people to potentially better perspectives


Social identity theory
ACME widget employee Employees at other firms People living in other countries Graduates from other schools

Social identity theory features
• Comparative process –compare characteristics of our groups with other groups • Homogenisation process

Live in Australia

An individual ’s social identity
Monash University graduate

–perceive that everyone in a group has similar characteristics • Contrasting process –form less favourable images of people in groups other than our own

The stereotyping process
Develop categories and assign traits Assign person to category based on observable info Assign category’s traits to the person Professors are absent-minded

The stereotyping process
Develop categories and assign traits Assign person to category based on observable info Assign category’s traits to the person Image of typical IT/Engineering professional

Our instructor is a professor Our instructor is absent-minded

Do I fit this image? I do not belong in IT/Engineering profession

How accurate are stereotypes?
• Some accuracy, but also distortion and error –traits don ’t describe everyone in the group –we screen out inconsistent information • Stereotypes are less accurate when –we have little interaction with people in that group –we experience conflict with members of that group • Stereotypes enhance our own social identity

Attribution process
• Internal attribution
–perception that outcomes are due to motivation/ability rather than situation or fate

• External attribution
–perception that outcomes are due to situation or fate rather than the person


Rules of attribution
Internal attribution

Attribution errors
• Fundamental attribution error
–attributing behaviour of other people to internal factors (their motivation/ability)




Consistent with past

Distinctive from other situations

Consensus (other people are similar)

• Self-serving bias
–attributing our successes to internal factors and our failures to external factors

External attribution



Self-fulfilling prophecy cycle
Supervisor forms expectations


Employee’s behaviour matches expectations

Expectations affect supervisor’s behaviour

Supervisor’s behaviour affects employee


Dealing with self-fulfilling prophecy
• Awareness training
–leaders learn effects of negative perceptions –problem is that awareness doesn’t prevent selffulfilling prophecy

Other perceptual errors
• Primacy effect
–Quickly categorising people based on first impressions –Fulfils need to make sense of our world –Inaccurate perceptions due to limited information

• Recency effect
–Most recent information dominates perception of others –Occurs when time has worn off first impressions –Known problem —recent information dominates performance appraisal rating

• Emerging three-prong strategy
–support a learning orientation –engage in contingency leadership styles –increase employee self-efficacy

Other perceptual errors…
• Halo effect
– One trait forms a general impression – Becomes the basis for judgments about other traits – Often occurs to fill in missing information and when the perceiver is not motivated to observe – Problem in performance appraisals—positive halo employee rated high on all dimensions

Types of diversity initiatives
• Recruit people with diverse backgrounds • Provide reasonable accommodation • Diversity awareness activities
–appreciate differences –sensitise people to stereotypes/prejudice –dispel myths

• Projection
– Believing others have same characteristics as us – Defence mechanism to protect our self -esteem

Improving perceptions through empathy
Australian P&O Cruises executive Peter Frawley and other corporate leaders are bringing their perceptions back into focus by working alongside other employees and customers.
© Jody D’Arcy/News Limited

Improving perceptual accuracy
Diversity initiatives Know yourself Empathise with others

Improving perceptual accuracy

Compare perceptions with others

Postpone impression formation


Know yourself (Johari Window)
Feedback Known to self Known to others Disclosure Unknown to self

Know yourself (Johari Window)
Feedback Known to self Known to others Unknown to self

Open Open Area area

Blind Blind Area area


Open Area Open area Hidden Area Hidden

Blind Area Blind area

Unknown to others

Hidden Hidden Area area

Unknown Unknown Area area

Unknown to others


Unknown Unknown Area area

Big five personality dimensions

Personality defined
Conscientiousness Caring, dependable Poised, secure Sensitive, flexible Courteous, empathic Outgoing, talkative

Relatively stable pattern of behaviours and consistent internal states that explain a person's behavioural tendencies.

Emotional stability Openness to experience Agreeableness Extroversion

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
During their retreat in Maine, US, employees at Thompson Doyle Hennessey & Everest completed the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and learned how their personalities can help them understand each other more effectively.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
• Extroversion versus introversion • Sensing versus intuition • Thinking versus feeling • Judging versus perceiving

Courtesy of Thompson Doyle Hennessey & Everest

Courtesy of Thompson Doyle Hennessey & Everest


Locus of control and self-monitoring
• Locus of control
–internals believe in their effort and ability –externals believe events are mainly due to external causes

Mid-Semester Exam Questions
• Please note that several multi-choice questions will be reviewed in class, some of which will appear in mid-semester exam

• Self-monitoring personality
–sensitivity to situational cues and ability to adapt your behaviour to that situation


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