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The study of perception is concerned with identifying the process through which we interpret and organize sensory information to produce our conscious experience of objects and object relationship. Perception is the process of receiving information about and making sense of the world around us. It involves deciding which information to notice, how to categorize this information and how to interpret it within the framework of existing knowledge. A process by which individuals organize and interpret their sensory impressions in order to give meaning to their environment.

The Perceptual Process

1. Sensation An individuals ability to detect stimuli in the immediate environment. 2. Selection The process a person uses to eliminate some of the stimuli that have been sensed and to retain others for further processing.


The process of placing selected perceptual stimuli into a framework for storage.
The stage of the perceptual process at which stimuli are interpreted and given meaning.


Perceptual Process Receiving Stimuli (External & Internal)

Selecting Stimuli External factors : Nature,

Location,Size,contrast, Movement,repetition,similarity Internal factors : Learning, needs,age,Interest,

Interpreting Attribution ,Stereotyping, Halo Effect, Projection

Organizing Figure Background , Perceptual Grouping ( similarity, proximity, closure, continuity)

Response Covert: Attitudes , Motivation, Feeling Overt: Behavior


Attribution Theory
When individuals observe behavior, they attempt to determine whether it is internally or externally caused.


H Distictinctiveness L H

Attribution of cause
External Internal External Internal

Individual behavior

Consensus L

H Consistency L

Internal External

H high

L- Low

Distictiveness Does this person behave in this manner in other situation

Consensus Do other person Behave in the Same manner?

Consistency Does this person behave in this same manner at other times ?

YES Low Distinctiveness NO High Distinctiveness

No Low Consensus Yes High Consensus

Yes High Consistency No Low Consistency

Internal Attribution
External Attributi on

Social Identity Theory

(Tajfel & Turner 1979) Our social identity, a part of our identity is derived from the social groups that we belong to and that we do not belong to (defining who we are by who we arent) We derive self esteem by positively differentiating our ingroup from out-groups (us and them) We therefore tend to categorize our social environment into groups We tend to favourize our in-group over out-groups

Evaluation, advantages
Supporting research Understanding of prejudice Can be used for predictions of social behavior in groups Methodological advantages of supporting studies (well controlled, standardized procedures) Can be generalized to other cultures (Yuki et al. 2005)

Evaluation, disadvantages
Identification with an in-group may sometimes lead to low self esteem (e.g. being black in the 1930:s Clark and Clark 1939, Jane Eliot classroom exercise) The social identity process can also be affected by permeability (e.g. Haslam & Reicher 2006) We may also develop our self esteem and identity through our individuality Methodological problems of supporting studies (generalisability and ecological validity) Possible cultural differences for in-group favouritism (Yuki et al 2005) The results of the Tajfel study may be due to the competitive behavior, not in-group bias

Self-fulfilling prophecy

In certain situations, we may respond to stereotypes in such a way that false definitions end up being accurate. In this phenomenon, called the self-fulfilling prophecy, a person or group that is described as having particular characteristics begins to display those very traits. (e.g., when teachers and counsellors tell a bright child from a working class family that he would make a good carpenter or mechanic, for instance, they may discourage him from thinking of college or a profession.)


Self-fulfilling prophecies can be especially devastating for minority groups. The dominant group in a society believes that subordinate group members lack the ability to perform in important and lucrative positions. So it denies them the training needed to become scientists, executives, or physicians, effectively locking the subordinate group into societys inferior jobs. The false definition has become real: in terms of employment, the minority has become inferior because it was originally defined as inferior and was prevented from achieving equality.



STEREOTYPES Based on appearance HALO (HORN) EFFECTS One outstanding characteristic noted CONTRAST EFFECT Ordering RECENCY EFFECT Limited recall PROJECTION Similar to me Error SKEWING ERRORS Central tendency, leniency, strictness bias SELF-FULFILLING PROPHESY People respond the way you expected they would SELECTIVE PERCEPTION (MIND SETS) Filtering, selection, and salience


Ho: THESE PEOPLE ARE INSANE(Dont let them out!)

SANE SANE INSANE ----------------------------------------------------------OK TYPE I ERROR -----------------------------------------------TYPE II OK ERROR -----------------------------------------------------------


TYPE I ERROR = Rejecting HO: when it is true (Alpha Error) TYPE II ERROR = Acceptin HO: when it is false (Beta Error)




Ho: THESE PEOPLE MIGHT BE SANE (Dont keep anyone who is ok!)
TRUTH SANE SANE INSANE ----------------------------------------------------------OK TYPE II ERROR -----------------------------------------------TYPE I OK ERROR -----------------------------------------------------------

OBSERVED BEHAVIOR INSANE 41 Ringers spotted by staff 23 by psychiatrists


Learning in Organizations
Definition: A relatively permanent change in knowledge or behavior that results from practice or experience. Two types of learning: Operant conditioning Social learning


Operant Conditioning
Learning that takes place when the learner recognizes the connection between a behavior and its consequences. Individuals learn to operate on their environment, to behave in certain ways to achieve desirable consequences or avoid undesirable consequences.



Reinforcement: Increasing the probability that a desired behavior will occur again in the future by applying consequences that depend on the behavior in question. Positive Reinforcement: The administration of positive consequences to workers who perform desired behaviors. Pay, promotions, interesting work, praise, awards Negative Reinforcement: The removal of negative consequences when workers perform desired behaviors. Nagging, complaining


Reinforcement Schedules
Continuous Reinforcement: Occurs after every occurrence of a behavior. Partial Reinforcement: Occurs only a portion of the time that behavior occurs. Differences: Continuous reinforcement can result in faster learning of desired behaviors. Behaviors learned using partial reinforcement are likely to last longer.


Reinforcement Schedules
Fixed-Interval Schedule: The period of time between the occurrence of each instance of reinforcement is fixed or set. Variable-Interval Schedule: The amount of time between reinforcements varies around a constant average. Fixed-Ratio Schedule: A certain number of desired behaviors must occur before reinforcement is provided. Variable-Ratio Schedule: The number of desired behaviors that must occur before reinforcement varies around a constant average.


Advice to Managers: Reinforcement

Administer rewards only when workers perform desired behaviors or close approximations of them. When using reinforcement, make sure you identify the right behaviors to reinforce (those that help the organization achieve its goals). Because job performance is likely to vary across workers, administer rewards so that high-performing workers receive more rewards than low-performing workers. Do not assume that a given reward will function as a positive reinforcer to all workers. Take individual preferences into account. Make sure the consequences of a behavior are equal to the behavior Make sure that workers know what reinforcers are available for desired behaviors. Dont just assume that they know.

Extinction and Punishment

Extinction: Removing a consequence that is currently reinforcing an undesirable behavior in an effort to decrease the probability that the behavior will occur again in the future. Punishment: Administering negative consequences to workers who perform undesirable behaviors in an effort to decrease the probability that the behavior will occur again in the future. Verbal reprimands, docking pay, loss of privileges


Negative Reinforcement vs. Punishment

These two concepts are often confused; however, they differ from each other in two important ways. First difference: Punishment reduces the probability of an undesired behavior. Negative reinforcement increases the probability of a desired behavior. Second difference: Punishment involves administering a negative consequence when an undesired behavior occurs. Negative reinforcement entails removing a negative consequence when a desired behavior occurs.

Advice to Managers: Punishment

Remember that all behaviors, good and bad, are performed because they are reinforced in some way. Undesired behaviors can be eliminated by determining how the behavior is being reinforced and removing the reinforcer. When feasible, use extinction rather than punishment to eliminate undesired behaviors. When you use punishment, make sure workers know exactly why they are being punished. Make sure the chosen negative consequence is indeed a punishment for the individual in question. Downplay the emotional element in punishment, punish immediately after the undesired behavior, and do not punish in front of others.


What is personality?
Defn: The relatively stable set of psychological characteristics influencing the way an individual interacts with his or her environment Personality and OB Dispositional Approach Focus on individual dispositions and personality Individuals are predisposed to behave in certain ways Significant focus on personality testing (eg., selection of military personnel).


Personality and OB
Situational Approach

Other factors in the work environment that can predict and explain behaviour Characteristics of org setting and work tasks: rewards and punishments, etc.

Personality and OB
Interactionist Approach (interactionism)

Org behaviour is a function of both situation and disposition To predict org. behaviour, one must know something about both personality and situation Weak vs. strong situations
Weak: Not always clear how to behave (therefore personality has more influence). Eg., newly formed orgs Strong: More defined rules, roles and contingencies (personality has less impact) Eg., routine military ops

FIT: some personality characteristics are useful in some situations (fit the right person with right job)

Five Factor Model

Five basic, general dimensions:

Extraversion (vs intraversion) Emotional stability (vs. neuroticism) Agreeableness Conscientiousness Openness to experience

Cross-cultural correspondence; some genetic basis

Five Factor Model

Link to job performance

Strongest predictor of job performance = conscientiousness Conscientiousness -> retention, attendance; antidote to absenteeism, discipline probs Extraversion -> promotes managerial performance (when high consc.), else promotes absenteeism (more than introverts)

Big Five related to other work behaviour

Five Factor Model

Relation to motivation Relation to job satisfaction Relation to job search behaviour and career success Relation to vocational orientation

Stress in the Workplace

46% of workers find job to be extremely stressful Cost of stress related disorders is estimated to be $150 billion a year Stress related disorders comprise 14% of workers compensation cases

Stress What is it?

Stress physiological and psychological responses to events in the environment

Eustress: good stress Distress: bad stress Alarm: preparation of body for fight or flight Resistance: maintain state of elevated preparation Exhaustion: when demands exceed bodys capabilities

Physiological Effects

Stress More Background

Where does stress come from?

Major life events? Daily hassles: frequency, intensity, duration

Job satisfaction and stress those who enjoy work suffer less impact from stressful events

Individual Differences in Coping

Social Support Job Skill the more skilled at job, the less stress Physical Health good health leads to reduced impact of stress Type A/Type B Personality Type A personality reflected by competitiveness, inflated sense of time urgency, hostility

Type A Personality
Hostility component of Type A personality is linked to heart disease Type A individuals, in essence, create more stress for themselves Type B individuals rarely have heart attacks before the age of 70

More Individual Differences

Job Complexity increased complexity leads to heart disease in Type A individuals. But, complexity also is linked to job satisfaction!! Locus of Control internal locus of control is linked to reduced impact of stress Negative Affectivity linked to neuroticism from the Big 5. A tendency to focus on the negative aspects of life. Linked to high levels of stress

Individual Differences: Hardiness

Reflects a resistance to stress: elements include :

Sense of commitment to family and work A perceived sense of control A view of change as normal and challenging

Organization-based Self Esteem our assessment of our adequacy and worth with regard to our place in the employing organization (job specific self esteem) Gender Differences female managers face more stressors than do male managers (e.g., role conflict, discrimination, harassment)

Even More Individual Differences

Stress and Type of Occupation

Clerical and blue collar workers suffer the most stress due to a relative lack of control Most stressful professions include: laborer, secretary, clinical lab. technician, nurse, first-line supervisor, restaurant server, machine operator, farm worker, miner One of the least stressful professions is college professor yeah!!

Work-Family Conflicts
Greater role conflict for women primary responsibility for family life falls on woman

Family with 3 kids, average work week for females is 90 hours, for males it is 70 hours

Bad work days tend to carry over into family life tendency is stronger for women.

Sadly, positive states do not carry over

Work-Family Conflict, Continued

Workers report that jobs interfere with family life more than vice versa Companies can help reduce stress with flexible schedules and supportive supervisors more helpful than child care facilities Despite these problems, women with paying jobs are psychological and physically healthier than full-time homemakers

Causes of Stress in the Workplace

Work overload

Quantitative: too much to do in too short a time Qualitative: work that is too difficult Quantitative has increased in recent years due to downsizing

Work underload work that is too simple or insufficient to fill ones time Both of these impact stress and health, appears that a moderate amount of stress is optimal

Causes of Stress - Continued

Organizational Change if not hardy, change causes stress in individuals. Can be reduced by including employees in planning Role Ambiguity unstructured or poorly defined job responsibilities (expected standards, methods, schedules) Role Conflict conflict between job demands and employees personal standards

Delay action for no good reason Suggestions for controlling:

Calculate the cost of procrastination: e.g., reduce chance of promotion Worst in, first out principle: tackle worst task first Break task into manageable chunks Make a commitment to other people: Ill give it to you on Friday/by lunch Remove mind clutter: eliminate trivial items from to do list Fill your schedule provides stimulation you had been receiving by working up to deadlines

Effects of Stress in the Workplace

Mass psychogenic illness also known as assembly line hysteria. Isolation and suggestibility Burn out results from overwork. Includes,

Emotional Exhaustion Depersonalization Reduced sense of personal accomplishment Quantity of work may stay the same, but the quality declines, depression, apathy, irritability, and boredom may occur

Addiction to work because of anxiety and insecurity or because of a genuine liking for the job Healthy, work enthusiasts usually have jobs with autonomy and variety, appropriate skills for job, and supportive families Unhealthy, workaholics Compulsive, driven to perform job tasks. Often negatively impact co-workers

Treating Stress in the Workplace

Organizational Techniques

Provide sufficient support for change Provide sense of control through participation Clearly define employee roles Eliminate work over and under load EAPs for stress reduction (teach coping strategies) Provide opportunity for social support (formal or informal)

Individual Techniques for Stress Reduction

Exercise Relaxation Training Biofeedback Behavior Modification

What Are Emotions?

A broad range of emotions that people experience.

Intense feelings that are directed at someone or something.

Feelings that tend to be less intense than emotions and that lack a contextual stimulus.

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Emotional Labor

A situation in which an employee expresses organizationally desired emotions during interpersonal transactions. Emotional Dissonance
A situation in which an employee must project one emotion while simultaneously feeling another.

Felt versus Displayed Emotions

Felt Emotions

An individuals actual emotions.

Displayed Emotions Emotions that are organizationally required and considered appropriate in a given job.


Emotion Continuum
The closer any two emotions are to each other on the continuum, the more likely people are to confuse them.


Emotion Dimensions
Variety of emotions Positive Negative Intensity of emotions Personality Job Requirements Frequency and duration of emotions How often emotions are exhibited. How long emotions are displayed.