Masterclass Chapter 3

Learning Objective: Outline the perceptual processes
PERCEPTION: the process of receiving information and making sense of the world around us.

SELECTIVE ATTENTION: the process of attending to some information received by our senses and ignoring other information.


CATEGORICAL THINKING is the mostly non-conscious process of organizing people and objects into preconceived categories that are stored in our long-term memory. Things are often grouped together on the basis of their similarity

MENTAL MODELS: visual or relational images in our mind that represent the external world.To achieve goals, we need road maps of the environment in which we live. These road maps are mental models, and are internal representations of the external world.
Learning Objective 2: Explain how social identity and stereotyping influence the perceptual process
Social perception is influenced by three activities in the process of forming and maintaining our SOCIAL IDENTITY:

CATEGORISATION: social identity is a comparative process, which begins by categorizing people into groups.

HOMOGENISATION: To simplify categorization, we tend to think that people within each group are very similar. For example, we think Australians have similar attitudes and characteristics.

DIFFERENTIATION: we differentiate groups by assigning more favorable characteristics to people in our groups than people in other groups.
The process of assigning traits to people on the basis of their membership in a social category. It has three elements.

1. We develop social categories and assign traits that are difficult to observe, for example students might form the stereotype that professors are both intelligent and absent minded. Many of these stereotypes are provided by upbringing and media images.

2. We assign people to categories on the basis of easily observable information, such as their gender.

3. People who seem to belong to the stereotyped group are assigned non-observable traits associated with the group. For instance, if we learn someone is a professor, we might assume that this person is intelligent and absent minded
Why do we stereotype?
1. It is subconscious and simplifies the understanding of the world.

2. We have an innate need to understand and anticipate how others will behave; often we don't have much information when first meeting someone, so we rely on stereotypes to fill the pieces.

3. Stereotyping enhances our self-concept. When out-group members (those not in your group) threaten our self-concept, we are motivated (often without awareness) to assign negative stereotypes.
Learning Objective: describe the attribution process
The perceptual process of deciding whether an observed behaviour or event is caused largely by internal (person) or external (environment) factors.
Internal factors include the person's ability or motivation, whereas external factors include lack of resources, other people or just luck.

People rely on three attribution rules:
1. Consistency- how often did the person act this way in the past? Seldom? External attribution results.
2. Distinctiveness - how often does the person act this way in other settings? Seldom? External attribution results.
3. Consensus - how often do other people act this way in similar situations? Frequently? External attribution results.
Learning objective: describe two attribution errors
1. Fundamental attribution error- the tendency to see the person rather than the situation as the main cause of that person's behaviour

2. Self-serving bias- the tendency to attribute our favorable outcomes to internal factors and our failures to external factors. Simply put, we take credit for successes and blame others for our mistakes.
Learning Objective: Summarize the self-fulfilling prophecy process
The perceptual process in which our expectations about another person cause that person to act in a way that is consistent with those expectations. In other words, our perceptions can influence reality.

The cycle of self-fulfilling prophecy occurs as follows:

1. Supervisor forms expectations about the employee
2. Supervisors expectations affect their behaviour toward employee
3. Supervisors behaviour affects abilities and self confidence of employee
4. Employee's behaviour becomes consistent with supervisors expectations
Contingencies of self-fulfilling prophecy:
• They are more powerful under some conditions than others; it is stronger at the beginning of the relationship, and also when several people hold the same expectations of the individual.

• Also stronger among people with history of low-achievement. High achievers can draw on their past successes to offset low expectations.

• Low achievers respond more favourably to self-fulfilling prophecy. They don't receive this encouragement often so it probably has a stronger effect on their motivation to excel.
Learning objective: explain how halo, primacy, recency, and false-consensus effects bias our perceptions.
Halo effect- occurs when our general impression of a person, usually based on one characteristic, distorts our perception of other characteristics of that person.

Primacy effect- is our tendency to quickly form an opinion of people on the basis of the first information we receive about them (first impressions- hard to change).

Recency effect- occurs when the most recent information dominates our perception of others.

False-consensus effect- a widely observed bias in which we overestimate the extent to which others have beliefs and characteristics similar to our own. We selectively remember information that is consistent with our own views. We also believe "everyone does it" to reinforce our self-concept regarding behaviours that do not have a positive image, eg: parking illegally.
Learning Objective: discuss three ways to improve social perception, with specific application to organisational solutions.
1. Awareness of perceptual bias
One of the most obvious ways to reduce biases is by knowing they exist. Diversity training can also help to reduce biases.

2. Improving self-awareness
Helping people become more aware of biases in their decision making and behaviour, through procedures such as the IAT (Implicit Association Test), which detects subtle race, age and gender bias by associating positive and negative words with specific demographic groups.

3. Meaningful interaction
Based on the contact hypothesis, a theory stating that the more we interact with someone, the less prejudiced or perceptually biased we will be against that person.
Learning Objective: Describe the ABC model of behaviour modification
Antecedents: what happens before the behaviour, informing employees that certain behaviours will have particular consequences. Antecedents do not cause behaviours. Eg: an antecedent may be a sound from your computer signaling the arrival of an email.

Behaviours: what the person says or does, eg: ignores the email.

Consequences: the events following a particular behaviour that influence further occurrence. People tend to repeat behaviours that are followed by pleasant consequences as opposed to unpleasant consequences. Eg: employee misses important meeting due to ignoring the email and receives a warning from their boss.
Learning objective: The four
Positive reinforcement: occurs when the introduction of a consequence increases or maintains the frequency or future probability of a specific behaviour. Example: a bonus after successfully completing a task.

Punishment: occurs when a consequence decreases the frequency or future probability of behaviour. This consequence is typically something employees try to avoid, for example, being demoted.

Negative reinforcement: occurs when the removal or avoidance of a consequence increases or maintains the frequency or future probability of a specific behaviour. For example, a supervisor withholds criticism from employees whose substandard performance has improved.

Extinction: occurs when the target behaviour decreases because there is no consequence to follow it. For example, an employee may stop making inappropriate jokes in meetings if his colleagues stop laughing at them. Extinction is a "do nothing" strategy.
Learning Objective: describe the three features of social learning theory.
Social learning theory states that much learning occurs by observing others. Modeling these observed behaviours lead to favorable outcomes and avoiding behaviours that lead to punishing consequences.

1. Behaviour modeling: people learn by observing the behaviours of a role model on a critical task, remembering those behaviours and then practicing them.

2. Learning behaviour consequences: people learn the consequences of behaviour through logic and observation, not just through direct experience.

3.Self-reinforcement: occurs whenever an employee has control over a reinforcer but doesn't take that reinforcer until completing a self-set goal
Learning Objective: outline the elements of organisational learning and ways to improve each element
Knowledge acquisition: includes extracting information and ideas from the external environment as well as through insight

Knowledge sharing: involves distributing knowledge to others across the organisation

Knowledge use: the competitive advantage of knowledge comes from applying it in ways that add value to the organisation and its stakeholder