Perception and Communication Prepared for UHS 2052, UHS

Perception and Communication Prepared for UHS 2052, UHS 2062 and SHP 1313 students at UTM Malaysia by: Siti Rokiah Siwok [email protected] 1 Perception and communication 2 Perception

3 Sensation and perception How do our brain register what is out there? What other senses do we use to register the amazing world? How do we see, smell, hear, feel and taste? Are there other extra-sensory preceptors? How are we aware of our bodies? How are we aware of other people? Are we aware of everything around us?

Sensation Psychologists define sensation as the registration of properties of an object or event that occurs when a type of receptor ( as the retina and the skin) is stimulated (Kosslynn and Rosenberg, 2006) Sensation arise when enough physical energy strikes the sense organ, so that the receptor cells send neural

impulses to the brain. In other words, sensation is the process that yields our immediate experience of the stimuli in our environment (Gerow, 1997) 6 Other senses Vestibular sense: tells us about balance, about where we

are in relation to gravity and about acceleration/ deceleration. Kinesthetic sense: tells us the about the movement or position of our muscles and joints. Pain: a special sense Subliminal perception Extra-sensory perception Sensation and Perception

If all of us receive the same stimuli from our senses, are our perception the same too? 8 Perception Perception occurs when you organized and interpreted the sensory input as signaling a particular object or event . Perception relies on two phases of processing: (1) Organization into coherent unit

(2) Identifying what and where Perception Perception is the process of selectively attending to information and assigning meaning to it. (Verderber and Verderber, 2005) The process of selecting, organizing and interpreting sensory information ( Huffman, 2007) The brain select the information it receives from our

sense organs, organizes the information selected, interprets and evaluates it . (Verderber and Verderber, 2005) 10 Perception Perception involves selecting, organizing and interpreting information in order to give personal meaning to the communication we receive ( Seiler and Beall, 2008; page 30) What we perceive about ourselves, objects and

others give meanings to our experiences. It is these meanings, based on our perceptions that we communicate to others. 11 Perception Perception may sounds simple but it is actually a very complex process. If not understood, will lead to miscommunications. The process of perception starts with awareness and then followed by perception

formation. 12 Perception: Awareness Being aware of what is going on, and taking in the sights, sounds, smells etc., can only occur when we are paying attention to them Do you think that if we are in the same room, we are aware of the same things?

13 Perception: Perception Formation The way our mind filters and sorts information has a deep effect on how we perceive others, how we talk to them and how they respond to us. Each of us organise and interprets the world differently.

Psychologists use the term cognitive complexity to explain how our minds process and store information. Children has simple processing information system whereas adults have complex processing systems. 14 The Nature of Perception Lack of information on how perception works leads to miscommunications; including misjudgments of other peoples behaviours and ideas.

15 The Nature of Perception Does our brains absorb information like the camera? 16 The Nature of Perception: Selection

There is too much information- so the brain selects. We are exposed to millions of bits of information, at one time, but the mind can process only a small fraction. 17 18 19

20 21 How do we select? On the conscious and subconscious level, the brain selects information based on needs, interests and expectations. 22

Needs, Interests and Expectations We are likely to pay attention to information that meets our needs of all types. We pay attention to things or people which/ who are of our interest. We are likely to see what we are expected to see and to miss information which violates our expectations. 23

How do we select? We choose to experience or not experience certain things is called selective exposure. Focusing on specific stimuli while ignoring or paying less attention to other stimuli is called selective attention. Selecting to remember certain stimuli but no others is called selective retention. Selection is the sorting of stimuli from another. 24

The nature of perception: Organization Imagine when you walk into a room filled with people. Organization is categorizing of stimuli from the environment in order to make sense of it. 25 The role of experience

How do we organize information? Closure: filling in missing information so as to form a complete picture Proximity : Grouping of two or more stimuli that are close to one another, based on assumption that because the objects or people appear together, they are basically the same.

Similarity ( or pattern) : the grouping of stimuli that resemble one another in size, shape, colour or other traits Simplicity 27 The Nature of Perception : Interpretation Interpretation is the process of assigning meaning to the stimuli. 28

How do we interpret? We use : 1. Past experience 2. New information 3. Other peoples opinions 29 Interpretation: Using past experience Our interpretations of stimuli depend on our past

experiences. The more familiar we are with the objects, events and people, the less ambiguous our interpretations of them will be. However, our past experience can be limited, or there can be exceptions to a certain phenomenon. Our interpretation can be inaccurate. For example, the person who always smiles ( associated with kind and caring) can also be a murderer.

30 Interpretation: Based on new information Being open to new information is important. Let not past experience blind us from finding fresh meanings in new situations or events. A bad experience from a sales person does not mean that all future sales experience will be bad. There are

many good, honest and concern sales person. Experience helps us to be more cautious, but not closing doors to new meaningful experiences. The same information however, has different meanings to different people, as each of us has our own lenses or filters . 31 Interpretation: Based on others opinions We are also being influenced by other people, via various means. One of the means is mass media.

The relationship between us and the other people also play a role in our interpretation. The intensity of the other peoples opinion also matters. Something said many times is more likely to influence us than something said once. 32 Perceptual Differences Each of us are different and our perceptions thus are

different. Our difference in perceptions are influenced by : Perceptual set

Attribution error Physical characteristics Psychological state Cultural background Gender media 33 Perceptual set When we ignore new information and rely solely on past

experiences to interpret, we are using perceptual set. A perceptual set allows our past experiences to control our perceptions such that we ignore new information. Perceptual set is thus a fixed, previously determined view of events, objects or people. Perceptual set is a form of stereotyping. Stereotyping is the categorizing of events, objects or people without regard to the unique individual

characteristics or qualities. 34 Perceptual set Perceptual set and stereotypes involve both selective attention and selective retention. The difference is that stereotyping uses categories while perceptual set does not.

Perceptual set interferes with communication. Perceptual set prevents us from seeing or hearing things which are different from which we expect. As a result we fail to notice new things or changes. At times perceptual set help us make decisions efficiently. The key is: do not assume. perceptual sets are always accurate 35 Attribution error It is human nature to attribute or assign causes to

peoples behaviour. Attribution is the complex process through which we attempt to understand the reasons behind others behaviours. Two elements influence attribution: 1. Situation ( environment) 2. Traits of the person ( disposition) 36

Attribution error Research shows that we are more likely to overestimate dispositional causes and underestimate situational causes. This bias is called the fundamental attribution error. Attribution error occurs when we perceive others as acting as they do because they are that kind of person ( that is due to his/her trait), rather than because of external factors which have influenced their behaviour

37 Physical Characteristics Our physical characteristics such as weight, height, body shape, health and the ability to use our senses influences our perceptual differences. For example, a person who is visually impaired

experiences the world differently compared to a sighted person. Height and age of a person also influence perception of events. Myriad of physical characteristics influence our perception; colours, tidiness, facial hair, observed disabilities etc 38 Psychological State Our psychological state influences our perception. When everything goes well and we are in a positive state

of mind, we perceive things positively. When under stress or in anger, or when self-image is poor, perception tends to be negative. 39 Cultural background Cultural background affects perception Culture can be defined as learned behaviours that are

communicated from one generation to another to promote individual and social survival. A culture evolves through communication; beliefs, artifacts and lifestyle are shared. Physical features such as skin colour or eye shape has little or nothing to do with cultural identity. 40 Cultural background

Much of cultural influence occurs without our realizing it. We are usually not conscious of the fact that much of our behaviour is conditioned by culture. A competent communicator does not depend on physical characteristics to make assumptions about peoples values, beliefs, attitudes or behaviours. To avoid or reduce misunderstandings, patience and tolerance are needed.

41 Cultural background: ethnocentrism Being unable to appreciate ideas, customs or beliefs that differ from those of ones own culture and assume that ones own view is superior to that of other culture is referred to as ethnocentrism.

Ethnocentrism alters our perception of others. There is a tendency to use our own culture as the yardstick by which we judge all other cultures/people who are different from us. With ethnocentrism, other culture are viewed to be inferior. 42 Ethnocentrism vs cultural relativism One form of ethnocentrism is cultural myopia. Cultural myopia refers to perceiving ones own culture as

superior and having a very narrow or shortsighted view of cultures other than own culture. When someone takes on a broader worldview and open their minds to different culture, and not judging other cultures as inferior because they are different, the person is accepting/practicing cultural relativism. 43 Ethnocentrism vs cultural relativism People who practice cultural relativism strive to

understand differences rather than judging; promoting intercultural relations. Cultural relativism is we-oriented whereas ethnocentrism is me-oriented. Cultural relativists are willing to understand people from different cultures without being judgemental. 44

Gender Gender affects our perception. Gender is socially constructed and is related to masculine and feminine behaviours that are learned. Some theorists believe that men and women understand the world differently ; resulting in different ways of communicating. Does gender gap exist?

The roles of men and women are changing? 45 Media The media greatly influence us. Media shape our views. How much is our perception influenced by the media? In

advertisements During election/campaigns In mails Etc Competent communicators check for truthfulness and accuracy. 46 Improving perception Recognize the uniqueness of each person frame of

reference and therefore always question the accuracy of our perception. Be an active perceiver: Seek more information Realize that perception change over time Distinguish facts from inferences. Aware of the role of perceptions play in communication.

Keep an open mind Do perception checking 47 Conclusion Perception is the process of selecting, organizing and interpreting information in order to give meaning( or make sense of the situation).

Perception is being influenced by many factors such as experience, culture, gender, context, etc To improve communication we must remember that perception is seldom the same for everyone; our perception is one of the many possibilities. Make efforts to improve our perception. 48 References: Seiler, W. J and Beall, M. L ( 2008). Communication.

Making Connections ( 7th ed). Boston: Pearson Perkins,P. S ( 2008). The Art and Science of Communication. Tools for Effective Communication in the Work Place. New Jersey: Wiley. Hybels, S., and Weaver II, R. L ( 2004). Communcating Effectively ( 7th ed). Boston: Mc Graw Hill Verderber, R. F. and Verderber, K.S (2005) Communicate( 11th ed). CA: Thomson/Wadsworth

49 References Aamodt, M.G (2007). Industrial /organizational psychology. An applied approach. Belmont, CA: Thomson Kosslynn & Rosenberg ( 2006). Psychology in Context (3rd ed). Boston, MA: Pearson International edition. Gerow, G. R ( 1997). Psychology. An Introduction (5th

ed). New York: Addison-Wesley Publishers Inc. 50

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