Here is a compilation of essays on ‘Perception’ for class 11 and 12. Find paragraphs, long and short essays on ‘Perception’ especially written for school and college students.

Essay on Perception

Essay Contents:

  1. Essay on the Definition of Perception
  2. Essay on the Nature of Perception
  3. Essay on the Process of Perception
  4. Essay on the Mechanism of Perception
  5. Essay on the Factors Influencing Perception
  6. Essay on the Attribution Theory of Perception
  7. Essay on the Aspect of Personality that Influence Perceptions
  8. Essay on the Application of Perception

Essay # 1. Definition of Perception:

Perception is defined as “a process by which individuals organise and interpret their sensory impressions in order to give meaning to their environment (Robbins)”.

(a) What one perceives may be different from objective reality. A person coming late on duty may be perceived as casual and tardy while there may be social problems faced by him.

(b) There is often disagreement among the individuals in the organization in relation to pay and allowances, administrative back up, policies and procedures and the place of work itself. An individual who displays a positive attitude may perceive above factors as good and conducive to work environment while the others may consider them inadequate. Employees also compare themselves on job assignment.

If a job is assigned to one individual who may consider the assignment in excess to his job entitlement on the contrary if he is not given the job, he may consider it as neglecting him in allocation of responsibilities.

(c) It would often be observed that the manager is rated differently by his subordinates because of the different perception of the individual about the manager. The study of perception is very important in the organization because it is necessary for the manager to perceive individuals correctly irrespective of their status and perceive each of the situation as close to the real fact or as it exists by interpreting the sensory reflects in correct way. Sensation and perception are complex phenomenon.

Perception is outcome of sensation and is much broader in its nature. Perception involves observing data, selecting, and organizing the data based on sensory reflects and interpreting the same as per personality attributes of the perceiver. That is why no two individuals can perceive an employee in the same manner, for one he may be efficient while for the other he may be perceived as useless.

Perception is a cognitive process. Cognitions are basically bits of information and cognitive processes involve the ways in which people process that information. The key to understanding perception is that perception is a unique interpretation of a situation and not an exact recording of it. It is also a subjective process as different people may perceive the same environmental event differently.

Essay # 2. Nature of Perception:

Perception can be better explained by understanding the nature and characteristics of perception:

i. Perception is a Complex Process:

After a stimulus is detected by the sense organs, the perception process comes into play and involves the interplay of three processes, viz., selection, organization and interpretation. It is a dynamic process.

ii. Perception is a Intellectual Process:

It involves a lot of cognitive effort. Once sensation takes place, the perception process involves the selection, organization and interpretation of data.

iii. Perception is Broad in Nature:

it includes a physiological component (through sensation), as well as sociological and psychological components.

iv. Perception is a Subjective Process:

It is a subjective process as two people may perceive the same stimuli differently. While two persons may be exposed to the same stimuli, the manner in which they select them, organize and interpret them is different. This is because the two are impacted by their background, learning and experiences, motivation, personality, cultures, values and lifestyles, social class effects etc. which may be different from each other.

Essay # 3. Process of Perception:

The perceptual process starts when a person is exposed to a stimulus and the sensory receptors report the same to the human body. While the senses may be exposed to various stimuli, the human senses select only some of these at a point of time. This is because the sense organs have a limited capacity at a particular point of time.

After the sense organs, report a few stimuli, the perceptual process takes over. Of the stimuli that have been detected, few are selected, organized and interpreted for meaning. This is known as perception.

The three sub-processes viz., perceptual selection, organization and interpretation are discussed as follows:

(i) Perceptual Selection:

Human beings are simultaneously exposed to various stimuli in his/her environment. Due to the fact, that the various stimuli cannot be treated or processed at the same time, people become selective in their approach. They would choose some stimuli for further processing. The choice of the stimuli would depend on what they feel is relevant for them and or appropriate for them. This is referred to as perceptual selectivity. Which of the stimuli gets selected, is based on two broad factors, viz., factors, external and related to the stimuli, and factors internal and related to the perceiver.

(ii) Perceptual Organization:

The next sub-process in the perceptual process is referred to as perceptual organization. After the input has been received from the selection stage and given attention to, the input/cue or the information is organized into a coherent form, so as to be able to extract meaning out of it in the next stage.

Thus, perceptual organization deals with what happens in the perceptual mechanism once the information from the environment is received. It is a cognitive process, which is responsible for organizing the stimuli and the surrounding cues, to develop “whole picture” according to one’s physiological, sociocultural and psychographic principles.

(iii) Perceptual Interpretation:

The final sub-process in the perceptual process is referred to as perceptual interpretation. After the input has been given attention to, and has been organized into a coherent form, a meaning is extracted out of it. This is referred to as perceptual interpretation. It is a purely cognitive process, which is responsible for extracting meaning out of the organized stimuli (“whole picture”) that a person is exposed to.

The process is totally individual, based on a person’s demographics, socio-cultural influences and psychographic influences. People interpret stimuli (i.e., they give meaning to them) subjectively in accordance with their needs, expectations, and experiences. That is why perception varies from person to person.

Similar to selection and organization, perceptual interpretation is also influenced by the forces external and related to the stimuli, as well as forces internal and related to the perceiver. It is also affected by the situation under which perception takes place.

Essay # 4. Mechanism of Perception:

The perceptual mechanism is impacted by two kinds of factors:

(i) External factors, related to the stimuli and to the environment; and,

(ii) Internal factors, related to the perceiver, in the form of demographic, socio-cultural and psychographic factors. People perceive things differently because of the perceptual mechanism that differs between people.

Every person is unique in himself with unique backgrounds, experiences, expectations, etc., and so the resultant perceptions are also unique. The perceptual mechanism requires greater discussion owing to the great deal of complexity and dynamism that goes into play.

Essay # 5. Factors Influencing Perception:

Following three factors influence the perception:

Factors Influencing the Perception

Factors Influencing the Perception

i. Perceiver:

When an individual looks at the object and attempts to interpret the same, what he or she sees it is largely influenced by the personal characteristics.

Perception is a matter of attitude that can be positive or negative. Some workers would feel and perceive that the prevailing working conditions in the organizations are congenial for work and it contributes positively while for others, it would be inadequate and demand improvement. This is indicative of positive and negative attitude patterns.

Motive is another factor that plays an important role in perception. Motive is nothing but unsatisfied needs. This exerts considerable influence on perception. Boss who is insecure perceives subordinate who does well as threat to his position. Personal insecurity is a threat to personal survival in a job especially if one is frequently transferred.

Interest is persons liking for a particular thing in an individual. May be some people get attracted to eyes of a girl because he has interest in the eyes while other person may be interested in hair style, therefore different person (perceiver) will perceive a girl based on perceivers’ interest. It has also been observed in the work places that workers would display interest as per their liking. Students in the class when preoccupied are not attentive in the class.

Past experience also plays an important role in perception. Just as interest narrows down one’s perception so does past experience. In contrast past experience nullifies an object interest. For example second or sub-sequent visit to a historic place. Object or events that have not been experienced before are more noticeable and creates an interest.

For example a female manager. Expectations can distort one’s perception in what one sees and what one expects to see. For example power hungry police officer to be strict regardless of his actual traits.

ii. The Target:

Objects, events that are similar to each other tend to group together and have a tendency of perceiving them as common group for example. Blacks, Whites or Indians etc. irrespective of their different characteristics. Physical and time proximity also leads us to perceiving a situation in a different form than actual reality. Increase in the sales volume may be attributed to newly post sales manager.

In actuality the increase in sales may have been the outcome of hard work done in the past by sales representatives and public contact. Soldiers in identical uniform and their uprightness is perceived as being strict, ruthless and tough, on the contrary they are sober, soft and very delicate at heart. It is therefore important to analyses the event, situation, or an object in its correct perspective and be led by similarity, physical and time proximity.

iii. The Situation:

Change in situation leads to incorrect perception about a person. Time is one factor, which influences the perception. Time is related to work setting and social setting. A person decked up for party may not be noticeable but the same dress in office would be noticed distinctly, though the person has not changed. You would have very frequently heard people say that their manager is different during working hours and 1800 opposite while in social setting.

Infact person is the same but the perceiver perceives the manager as per business like setup while on work, while the person is observed on a private or a personal platform when meeting him in the club or at home. What is important to remember is the perception should be done in a correct manner not to be led due to work setting or social setting and that the situation is not allowed to perceive wrongly.

An object can be identified by its size, shade, shape, sound it makes and background. It can be distinguished based on its movement. In darkness it may be identified by its silhouette, for example caravan moving on skyline at the dawn.

Essay # 6. Attribution Theory of Perception:

In day-to-day life, we come across people with whom we interact. Motives, intentions, belief and attitude of people have an impact as to how they behave. It has been seen that our perception about the people is greatly influenced by the assumption we make about a person and not by reality. There are two factors, which has an impact on human behaviour.

First is internally caused behaviour – refers to internal factors on which individual has a full control, secondly the externally caused behavior refers to the behaviour which has been caused due to external factors and that the individual has no control over it.

Attribution theory suggest that when we evaluate human behaviour, it is either internally caused or it is caused due to external factors as explained above.

The determination however depends on the following three factors:

As shown in Figure below:

Attribution Theory Factors

Fig. Attribution Theory Factors

(a) Distinctiveness:

Let us for evaluation purposes take an example of X worker coming late for duty. When we carry out interpretation there are two factors, one whether arriving late is usual or unusual behaviour. If it is usual, it is attributed to internal factor on which X has full control. When the behaviour is unusual then it can be attributed to external factors.

In the former situation individual could be counseled appropriately in the later situation, the external factors cannot be corrected. If the external factors are high, then late coming should not be attributed to the individual behaviour.

(b) Consensus:

This factor refers to group behaviour. If the entire group taking the same route came late on duty, the causation is attributed to external factors. But by some chance if X only was late then the causation would be internal.

(c) Consistency:

If the behaviour of Mr. X is consistence that is if he is consistently coming late then attribution should be to internal factors. In such cases there is a high internal causation. If X came late once in a while the causation would be low and attributed to external factors.

More consistence the behaviour, the more the observer is inclined to attribute it to internal causes. It has been seen that we have the tendency to under estimate the influence of external factors and over-estimate the influence of internal factors or personal factors while carrying out perception.

This phenomenon is called the fundamental attribution error. Fall in sales of a commodity is generally attributed to inefficiency of sales force rather than market trend, recession or innovative product launched by the competitor. There is also a self-serving bias error caused by the individuals who tend to attribute their own success to internal causation like ability, hard work and self-worth and the failure, to external factors like Luck.

This phenomenon is called a self-serving bias displayed by the individuals. There is bias, which distorts attribution universally across culture. During World War II it was considered by Allies that Japanese are invincible, but the attribution proved to be false at later date when tide took the turn and Japanese had to suffer total annihilation.

Self-serving bias does not apply to all organizations, where cultural identity has been established like Defense Services of India. Where the leader takes the responsibility for the failure of group task and attributes success to collective efforts.

This is the main reason that soldiers have great faith in their leader and his ability and that is how the soldiers are led in war and they follow the leader blindly because they have a correct perception of their leader.

Essay # 7. Aspect of Personality that Influence Perceptions:

Costello, Zalkind and Hamacheck indicate the following relationship between personality factors and perception:

(a) Secure person perceives others as warm individuals.

(b) Thoughtful individuals do not perceive situation in terms of Black and White but understand that there can be different shades of gray. Hence they do not make judgments based on single piece of evidence.

(c) Self-accepting people perceive others liking and accepting them. Those who are not self-accepting tend to distrust others.

(d) Self-accepting person also accepts others easily which is not true of those who are not self-accepting.

(e) People tend to perceive others more accurately when they are more like the ones they perceive than if they are different from those who are being perceived.

Essay # 8. Application of Perception:

i. Social Perception

ii. Impression Management

i. Social Perception:

It consists of those processes by which we interpret other people, how we categorize them and how we form impressions of them.

The social aspects of perception play a very important role in OB. 3 basic categories of influence on the way we perceive other people:

(a) The characteristics of the person being perceived.

(b) The characteristics of the particular situation.

(c) The characteristics of the perceiver.

There are numerous complex factors which enter into social perception like: Attributions, Stereotyping, Halo effect.

ii. Impression Management:

It is also called “self-presentation” Impression management, is the process by which people attempt to manage or control the perceptions others form of them. It is the tendency for people to try to present themselves in such a way as to impress others in a socially desirable way. According to Jones and Pitman, individuals engage in five impression management tactics.

a. Ingratiation:

They seek to be viewed positively by flattering others or offering to do favours for them.

b. Self-Promotion:

They tout their abilities and competence.

c. Exemplification:

They seek to be viewed as dedicated by going above and beyond the call of duty.

d. Supplication:

They seek to be viewed as needing help because of limitations.

e. Intimidation:

They seek to be viewed as powerful and threatening.