Factors Influencing Perception

Managerial Implications and Factors Influencing Perception

Table of Contents:-

  • Factors Influencing Perception
  • Managerial Implications of Perception
  • Influence of Perception on Consumer Behaviour

Factors Influencing Perception

A thorough understanding of factors influencing perception is essential for professionals in fields such as psychology, marketing, and communication, as it allows them to better comprehend human behaviour and tailor their strategies accordingly.

Factors influencing perception: Different people looking at the same thing might perceive it in different ways. Certain factors influence an individual’s perception. These factors are shown in the figure: 

Factors Influencing Perception

1) Internal Factors (Characteristics of the Perceiver)

Internal factors influencing perception are as follows:

i) Needs and Motives

A person’s need is influenced by his perception. The need is the feeling of uneasiness when a person desires something or he knows that something is missing in his life. People experience stimuli differently as per their needs. People having diverse needs choose diverse objects for responding to or remembering things.

ii) Self Concept

A person’s point of view about his surroundings is influenced by his views about himself. His self concept shapes the way he perceives things.

iii) Beliefs

A person’s ideologies and beliefs have a strong impact on his perception of things. Thus, the views an object or event, not as how it is but as how he believes it to be.

Related Article:- Process of Perception

iv) Past Experience

Past experiences, whether good or bad influence the way a person observes a present situation. If a person is hurt or betrayed by a close friend in the past he tends to take time in trusting any new relationship.

v) Current Psychological State

A person’s present mental state has a profound impact on how he sees the world. During stress, a person would perceive the same situation differently than when he was happy.

vi) Expectations

Expectations play an important role in a person’s perception. For example, a technical manager does not expect technical information from his non-technical staff.

2) External Factors (Characteristics of the Target or Perceived)

External factors influencing perception are as follows: 

i) Size

The size of the perceived stimulus plays a very vital role in attracting the perceiver towards it. The bigger the size of the stimulus, the higher the chances that it would attract the attention of the perceiver itself. Bigger objects dominate the view and hence, are more capable of attaining perceptual selection.

ii) Intensity

The degree of intensity is also crucial in perceptual selection i.e., the higher the intensity the higher the chances of perceptual selection. For example, a message will be more noticed if it is highlighted, underlined, and boldly displayed

iii) Frequency

Repetition enhances the sensory alertness of a person. It means that if an external stimulus is repeated several times it gets more attention than if displayed only once. Hence, a stimulus having a higher frequency of repetition has a greater chance of getting selected for attention.

iv) Status

The status of the perceiver also influences the perception. Employees are more influenced by high-status people as compared to low-status people.

v) Contrast

Stimuli that mix with the environment are not as attractive as those that contrast with their surrounding environment. Factor differences from the rest of the surroundings cause a contrasting effect. This principle states that an external stimulus that stands apart from the crowd gets more attention.

3) Characteristics of the Situation

The situation also influences perception to a great extent. For example, the time of viewing an object, the location, light, sound, heat or cold, or any kind of situational factor affects a person’s perception.

Managerial Implications of Perception

Perception is an important tool for managers. Proper knowledge of perception and its effective application empowers managers to make excellent decisions. The concept of perception can be used in the following managerial activities:

Managerial Implications of Perception

Managerial Implications of Perception are as follows:

  • Motivation
  • Hiring
  • Performance Expectations
  • Performance Appraisal
  • Employee Effort
  • Employee Loyalty
  • Building Relationships
  • Self-Assessment and Development

1) Motivation

Workplace perception is very important for motivation. For example, if employees perceive that organizations are concerned about their development and growth, they become motivated to better performance. Therefore, organizations must promote this perception by providing different opportunities for employees to learn new skills, perform challenging roles, etc.

2) Hiring

Perception affects hiring in several ways. A job application that displays a fresh perspective and is unique from others increases the chance that an applicant is selected. The human resource person might select applicants based on gender or race or maybe the halo effect might restrict him while perceiving an applicant.

Related Article: Transactional Analysis in Organisational Behaviour

The interviewer’s temperament at the time of the interview or his outlook towards the appearance of an applicant might also influence his perception. For example, a manager who prefers to see candidates formally dressed would certainly dislike a candidate who appears for the interview wearing goggles and a flowery shirt.

3) Performance Expectations

Perception helps managers in making a judgment regarding what to expect from an employee. If a manager intends to achieve high productivity from his employees, he should inform them about his expectations so that they can make efforts accordingly. Similarly, having a low-level perception would result in a lower level of productivity.

4) Performance Appraisal

In organizations, managers evaluate the performance of their subordinates termed performance appraisal. This evaluation is both subjective as well as objective. Perception mainly plays its role when performance is evaluated on subjective criteria. 

The precision of the manager’s perception of the employee’s efforts plays an important role in his appraisal. This further affects employees’ promotion and development. Hence, while evaluating, the manager should make sure that his perception is free from all biases.

5) Employee Effort

Many factors other than performance play a crucial role in deciding an individual’s future in the company. Like, the manager’s correct perception of the employee’s effort may help him move ahead. The analysis of effort is a subjective judgment and is prone to perceptual distortions and biases.

6) Employee Loyalty

Loyalty is expected from all employees working in an organization. Though employee loyalty is decreasing these days, still organisations appreciate it if employees, especially those working at managerial levels criticize the organization without any hesitation. 

Generally, it is seen that if it is known by the organization that an employee is looking for an opportunity somewhere else, then that particular employee is excluded from any promotional or developmental activities. The organization’s drive towards attaining loyalty is a big issue and the assessment of an employee’s loyalty towards his organization is a judgmental or perceptual process.

7) Building Relationships

If the manager’s perception is positive or productive, it helps to build effective communication and trust among the employees and improve professional relationships between the manager, employees, and junior employees. 

8) Self-Assessment and Development

Perception also helps in self-development. If what an individual perceives about himself is similar to others’ perceptions about him, then he is gaining proficiency and competence and vice versa.

Influence of Perception on Consumer Behaviour

Given below are some influences that perception has on consumer behaviour.

1) Increases Brand Loyalty

The one task that remains after letting the customers try the product is to uphold a good reputation and make the customer brand loyal. This can be achieved with the help of good customer service support as it will create a customer-centric perception in the minds of the customers. By doing such activities, the firms generate regular revenue as the customers become loyal to the brand which makes it challenging for the rival firms to steal such customers.

2) Helps in Noticing the Difference

Customers can differentiate between the features of various alternatives based on perception. Thus, the attention of the customers can be attracted with the help of such differentiating stimuli which are known and observable to customers.

3) Forms Decisions about Company or Product

To determine whether or not, any kind of value is delivered by a company, various information about that firm is continuously combined and processed by the customers. Firms mostly present their best selves to influence the perception of customers.

For example, the quality and convenience of a product or service are highlighted in the advertisements to improve the perception of the customers which can be advantageous to the firms in the form of improved sales. But sometimes, they make use of deception, fraud and dishonesty to manipulate the customers.

4) Perception of Risks

Consumers are less likely to make a purchase decision if there are higher risks involved. Consumers do not evaluate the risks associated with an unfamiliar brand or product.

For example, that product could have some defects or can be more expensive than its other alternatives. Therefore, by providing maximum information about the product in the advertisement and motivating promising product reviews, such risks can be neglected. Such risk perception can be further reduced by letting customers handle the products at stores or use them at their homes and by implementing a flexible return policy.

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