Perceptual Management:Nature and Process

“Perception is the process through which the information from outside environment is selected, received, organised and interpreted to make it meaningful to you. This input of meaningful information results in decisions and actions.”

Perception management is the practice of ensuring the message you wish to send is understood by the specific individuals or groups you want to reach. It also means influencing how people interpret what others say about you.

According to Joseph Reitz__“Perception includes all those processes by which an individual receives information about his environment—seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting and smelling. The study of these perpetual processes shows that their functioning is affected by three classes of variables—the objects or events being perceived, the environment in which perception occurs and the individual doing the perceiving.”

In simple words we can say that perception is the act of seeing what is there to be seen. But what is seen is influenced by the perceiver, the object and its environment. The meaning of perception emphasizes all these three points.

Thus,Perception is determined by both physiological and psychological characteristics of the human being whereas sensation is conceived with only the physiological features. Thus, perception is not just what one sees with the eyes it is a much more complex process by which an individual selectively absorbs or assimilates the stimuli in the environment, cognitively organizes the perceived information in a specific fashion and then interprets the information to make an assessment about what is going on in one’s environment.

Nature of perception

(1) Perception is the intellectual process.

(2) Perception is the basic cognitive or psychological process.

(3) Perception becomes a subjective process and different people may perceive the same event differently.

Perceptual Process

Perception is a process of receiving, selecting, organising, interpreting, checking and reacting to stimuli. This is like an input-through put-output process in which the stimuli can be considered as ‘inputs’ transformation of ‘input’ through selection, organization and interpretation as ‘through puts’ and the ultimate behaviour/action as ‘output’. The whole perceptional process can be presented as follows.

1. Receiving Stimuli : The first process in the perception is the presence of stimuli. The stimuli are received from the various sources. Through the five organs. It is a physiological aspect of perception process. Stimuli may be external to us (such as sound waves) and inside us (such as energy generation by muscles).

2. Selection of Stimuli : After receiving the stimuli or data, some are selected. Others are screened out. Two types of factors affect selection of stimuli for processing : external and internal factors. External factors relate to stimuli such as intensity of stimuli, its size, movement, repetition, etc. Internal factors, relate to the perceiver such as his/her age, learning, interest, etc. Normally, he will select the objects which interest him and will avoid that for which he is indifferent. This is also called ‘selective perception’.

3. Organization of Stimuli : Organising the bits of information into a meaningful whole is called “organization”. There are three ways by which the selected data, i.e., inputs are organised. These are :

(i) Grouping, (ii) Closure and (iii) Simplification.

(i) Grouping : In grouping, the perceiver groups the various stimuli on the basis of their similarity or proximity. For example, all the workers coming from the same place may be perceived as similar on the basis of proximity.

(ii) Closure : When faced with incomplete information, people fill up the gaps themselves to make the information meaningful. This may be done on the basis of past experience, past data, or hunches. For example, in many advertisement, alphabets are written by putting electric bulbs indicating the shape of the concerned alphabets but broken lines. In such cases, people tend to fill up the gap among different bulbs to get meaning out of these.

(iii) Simplification : People identify main stimulus features and assesses how they are organized. He interprets a stimulus situation, the perceiver simples the information.