Perception is defined as how you look at others and the world around you. Being able to select, organize and intercept information starts the perceptual process. Perception affects the way people communicate with others. An individual’s pattern of thinking can affect their perception of others. Most people communicate best with people of similar cultures.
The articles that I read discussed Social Perception. Social Perception was described as interpreting information about other people. If you feel that you are familiar with a person, you perceive to have a better understanding of that person intention. The pattern of thinking can affect a person’s perception of others. The social contexts, in which you meet someone, can play a large part in whether the perception of someone will be positive or negative.
Five barriers to social perception are described:
(1) Selective perception lets individual select information that supports a viewpoint and downplays the threatening viewpoints.
For instance, I go to a Physic and I am told that I will be a rich and successful person, but I will have many barriers to achieve this goal. My perception is focused on the fact that I will be rich and successful and not think about what it will take to get there.
(2) Stereotyping generalizes and does not allow for an individual to show relevant strengths.
In old western movies, it is always portrayed that Indians are the bad guys and cowboys are the good guys. Indians are thought of as the enemy with face paint and wearing feathers, living in teepees and associated with Thanksgiving. This is a complete stereotype of Native Americans.
(3) First Impression error allows a lasting impression to be formed based on an initial meeting. This can be positive or negative. If you are going to a job interview and the interviewer sees your appearance is neat and you are prepared of the interview, this could determine whether or not you are chosen for the job. On the other hand if the interviewer sees that you are not dressed appropriately for the interview and are unprepared this could also be a determining factor in whether or not you get the job.
(4) Projection allows believe that other people have similar beliefs. If you are a person who believes that all people are honest and truthful, projection is the belief that others share the same truthfulness and honesty, and we know that is not true.
(5) Self- Fulfilling prophecy affects the outcome of expectations while interacting with others. An, example of this is President Bush convinced Congress that invading Iraq would liberate the country and make the world a safer place, without knowing that it would make the Iraqi rebels feel that we were occupying their country and trying to take control the oil.
Comparing ourselves to others to see how we measure up and using past experiences can effect perceptions that we have with others. There are many processes that influence perception. Consciously deciding what information to pay attention to can influence many decisions we make. Understanding different cultures and not allowing stereotyping to cloud or judgment can make the communication process with other better.