Managerial applications of perception
- Employment Interview
A major input into who is hired and who is rejected in any organization is the employment interview. Evidence indicated that interviewers often make inaccurate perceptual judgements. Interviews generally draw early impressions that become very quickly entrenched. If negative information is exposed early in the interview, it tends to be more heavily weighted than if that same information comes out later. As a result, information elicited early in the interview carries greater weight than does information elicited later. A “good applicant” is probably characterized more by the absence of unfavourable characteristics than by the presence of favourable characteristics.
The employment interview is an important input into the hiring decision and a manager must recognize that perceptual factors influence who is hired. Therefore, eventually the quality of an organization’s labour force depends on the perception of the interviewers.
- Performance Evaluation
An employee’s performance appraisal very much depends on the perceptual process. The performance appraisal represents an assessment of an employee’s work. While this can be objective, many jobs are evaluated in subjective terms. Subjective measures are, by definition, judgemental.
The evaluator forms a general impression of an employee’s work. What the evaluator perceives to be “good” or “bad” employee characteristics will, significantly influences the appraisal outcome. An employee’s future is closely tied to his or her appraisal -promotions, pay raises and continuation of employment are among the most obvious outcomes.
- Performance Expectations
A manager’s expectations of an individual affect both the manager’s behaviour towards the individual and the individual’s response. An impressive amount of evidence demonstrates that people will attempt to validate their perceptions of reality, even when these perceptions are faulty. This is particularly relevant when we consider performance expectations on the job.
The term self-fulfilling prophecy or Pygmalion effect have evolved to characterize the fact that people’s expectations determine their behaviour. Managers can harness the power of the Pygmalion effect to improve productivity in the organization. It appears that high expectations of individuals come true. Managers can extend these high expectations of individuals to an entire group. When a manager expects positive things from a group, the group delivers. Similarly, if a manager expects people to perform minimally, they will tend to behave so as to meet these low expectations. Thus, the expectations become reality.
- Employee Loyalty
Another important judgement that managers make about employees is whether they are loyal to the organization. Few organizations appreciate employees, especially those in the managerial ranks openly disparaging the firm.
BEHAVIOURAL APPLICATIONS OF PERCEPTION
Individual does not always perceive the events freely from the environment. She/He selects the stimuli from the environment which can satisfy her/his needs, desires and expectations because of the dominance of needs in individual. Individual selects the stimuli on the basis of certain guidelines which are termed as principles of perceptual selection. Here, each principle is not significant alone in making perception. Basic principles of perceptual selection are discussed below:
- Principle of Intensity
According to intensity principle of perceptual selection, the more intense the external stimulus, the more likely it is to be perceived. Loud sound, dark color, strong smell, bold and italic letters etc. are perceived more easily and quickly in comparison to the soft sound, light color, soft smell. This principle is used frequently in advertisement like bright color in packaging, loud sound in television commercials. Supervisors sought loudly to get attention.
- Principle of size
The size principle of perceptual selection states that the larger size of stimulus, the more likely it is to be perceived. This means that the stimulus with larger size is easily perceived than the stimulus having small size. Normally, supervisors and managers with large body size can command more strictly to their subordinates because of positive perception of subordinates towards them. Large billboards are used in advertisement to draw the attention of perceivers. Full page advertisement gets more attention of readers. In the given figure, bigger circle is likely to be perceived quickly which draws the attention of viewer.
- Principle of contrast
Contrast stands for dissimilarity or uniqueness against all other stimulus or objects standing out. This principle states that the stimulus which is different or unique in comparison to the nearby and common objects, that will be perceived easily and quickly. For example, person wearing different color dress in a group can perceive the attention. Employees with different sound or vision are perceived quickly. Likewise the word DANGER written with red letter on while background draws quick attention. Cricketers wear different color sun glasses to get attention. In the adjacent figure, though all the circles have equal size, but central circle is easily perceived than other because of its contrast color.
- Principle of Novelty and Familiarity
Novelty is newness and familiarity is commonness or known to the perceiver. This principle states that perceiver perceive easily and quickly to novel (new) or familiar stimulus depending upon circumstances. For instance, new person in locality draws more attention while familiar face can easily be recognized. New design of vehicle or machine or dress can be perceived fast.
- Principle of repetition
Repetition or frequency plays vital role to select the perception. Highly repeated stimulus gets more attention than none repeating or single one. For example, producers or suppliers repeat advertising materials to their prospect customers to get attention. Supervisors and managers give directions again and again to their subordinates so that they can remember. Refreshment training are given to employee to refresh the knowledge or skill of employees.
- Principle of Motion
This principle states that the moving objects draw more attention than the stationary objects. For instance, advertisement of a car or motorcycle uses the running (moving) state to attract perceivers. Likewise, trainers, teachers and supervisors keep on moving while instructing or observing their trainees, students and subordinates so that perceiver gets more attention in moving.
- Principle of learning motivation and personality
This principle states that individual perceive the stimulus which compatible to their learning, motivation and personality. Learning creates certain expectancy so that individual perceive in certain manner. Motivation itself helps to draw attention towards stimulus and the personality affects the way of perceiving the stimulus.