Perception-Definition,Perceptual Distortion and Factors Influencing Perception

Hello Respected Researchers and HR managers, In this section we will discuss about “Perception-Definition,Perceptual Distortion and Factors Influencing Perception“. It is very much important for a Researcher as well as HR Concern person/ manager to know Perception with Definition,Perceptual Distortion and Factors Influencing Perception. If researcher or HR Manager could follow the Points accordingly,it would easier to reach the goal. Let’s have a look…

⊕ Perception: 

Perception can be defined as a process by which individuals organize and interpret their sensory impressions in order to give meaning to their environment. People’s behavior is based on their perception of what reality is, not on reality itself.

Another Definition is:

Perception is formally defined very much like you might expect: it is ‘The process by which people select, organize, interpret, retrieve and respond to information from the environment that surrounds them.

⊕ Perceptual Distortion:

Individual histories, predispositions and other experiences can introduce distortion to our perceptions. Distortion affects both the selection and organisation processes and includes the phenomena known as stereotyping, the halo effect, projection and the self-fulfilling prophecy. These terms are defined below:


  1. Stereotyping : When we judge someone on the basis of our perception of the group to which he or she belongs, we are using the shortcut called stereotyping. Stereotyping involves attributing behaviours or attitudes to a person based on that person’s membership or association with a particular group or category.
  2. Halo effect: When we draw general impression about an individual on the basis of a single characteristic such as intelligence, sociability or appearance, a halo effect is operating. The Halo Effect exists when an individual allows one salient aspect of a person to dominate the individual’s evaluation of that person.
  3. Projection: It is easy to judge others if we assume that they are similar to us. This tendency to attribute one’s own characteristics to other people ‑ which ‘is called projection can distort perceptions made about others. Projection exists when an individual attributes his/her own attitudes or feelings to another person. People often make the assumption that others are like themselves.
  4. Self-fulfilling prophecy: It exists when an individual expects another person to act or behave in a certain way, and they tend to see these expectations realized, whether or not they actually do.
  5. Selective perception: People selectively interpret what they see on the basis of their interests, background, experience and attitudes. We take in bits and pieces because we cannot assimilate all that we observe.
  6. Contrast effect: Evaluation of person’s characteristics that are affected by comparisons with other people recently encountered who rank higher or lower on the same characteristics.


A number of factors operate to shape and sometimes distort perception. These are:

  1. The Perceiver: When an individual looks at a target and attempts to interpret what he or she sees, that interpretation is heavily influenced by personal characteristics of the individual perceiver. Among the more relevant personal characteristics affecting perception are attitudes, Motive, interests, post experience and expectations.
  2. The Target: Characteristics of the target that is being observed can affect what is perceived. Loud people are more likely to be noticed in a group than are quiet ones. Targets are not looked at in isolation, the relationship of target to its background influences perception.
  3. The situation: Elements in the surrounding environment influence our perceptions. The situation affects the perception of a person. The time at which an object or event is seen can influence attention as can location, light, heat or any number of situational factors.


There may be some more documents on Perception with Definition,Perceptual Distortion and Factors Influencing Perception, this article is written by taking the help from Internet and other resources like Books, journals etc.


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