Here is a term paper on ‘Perception’ for class 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12. Find paragraphs, long and short term papers on ‘Perception’ especially written for school and college students.

Term Paper # 1. Meaning and Definition of Perception: 

Perception describes the process whereby people become aware of the outside world and themselves. Perception is the intellectual process by which a person acquires the information from the environment, organize it and obtain the meaning from it. Perception basically refers to the manner in which a person experiences the world. Perception is “The process by which people organize, interpret, experience process and use stimulus materials in the environment so that they satisfy their needs”.

According to Luthans “One of the most important Cognitive Process—Perception”. Cognitions are basically bits of information and the cognitive process involve the ways in which people process that information. People’s individual difference and uniqueness are largely the result of the cognitive process, (imagination, perception and even thinking).

The study of perception makes an important contribution to a better understanding of OB writers feel that behaviour is largely a product of the way people perceive themselves and the world around them at any given moment.


In terms of the S-O-B-C model perception involves the O-selecting, organizing, and interpreting the S. Perception is to recognize that it is unique interpretation of the situation, not an exact recording of it. In short perception is a very complex cognitive process that yields a unique picture of the world that may be quite different from reality.


“Perception can be defined as a process by which individuals organize and interpret their sensory impressions in order to give meaning to their environment”. S. Robbins. For example—working conditions, job assignments pay/salary of an organization are not viewed same by the employees and on better agreement. The definition is important to the study of OB, because people’s behaviour is based on their perception of what reality is, not on reality itself.

“Perception is much more complex and much broader than sensation. The perceptional process involves a complicated interaction of selection, organization and interpretation”. For example, while going in a train, a person senses trees moving, but object is perceived stationary.

The perceptual process overcomes the sensual process and the person sees the object as stationary. There is difference between sensation and perception. All knowledge of the world depends on the senses (6 organs) and their stimulation but the sensory data are insufficient to explain the coherent picture of the world. So the studies of the perception clarify the relationship between perception and sensation. The former is complex and broader than sensation dealing with elementary behaviour (physical functioning).


Jerome S. Bruner of Harvard argues “that perception involves an act of categorization”. Bruner said that when we perceive something we try to fit it into a classification system or frame of reference. The frame of reference includes values, attitudes, needs, and expectations.

Stimulus and Perception by the Organism

Term Paper # 2. Perceptual Process:

Perceptual inputs are first received, then processed by the perceiver and the resultant output becomes the base of the behaviour.

Perceptual Process

For the perceiver reality lies not in the event but in the phenomenon or his perception of the event. If a person is reacting to something as real, then that phenomenon is real for that person. Perception is first of all, selective or screening process which ensures that some information is processed and some is not.


In the process, perpetual selection takes account of only those stimuli that are relevant and appropriate for an individual. Perceptual organization is concerned with shaping the perceived inputs and finally perceptual interpretation deals with inference from observed meaning from the perceived events or objects. From this behaviour emerges.

Term Paper # 3. Perceptual Selectivity:

Numerous stimuli are constantly confronting everyone all the time. The noises of cars, planes or street repair work are a few of the stimuli affecting the other senses, plus the impact of the total environmental situation. But why do people select out only a very few stimuli at a given time? The answer lies in the principles of perceptual selectivity.

Various external and internal factors affect perceptual selectivity.

A. External Factor:


The external factors consists of outside environmental influences such as:

i. Repetition,

ii. Motion,

iii. Novelty and familiarity.


i. Repetition:

The repetition principle states that a repeated external stimulus is more attention— getting than a single one. Repetition increases our selectivity or alertness to the stimulus. The principle explains why supervisors have to give directions over and over again.

ii. Motion:

People will pay more attention to moving objects in their field of vision than they do stationary objects.


iii. Novelty and Familiarity:

The principle states that either a novel or a familiar external situation can serve as an attention gutter. Job-rotation is an example of this principle.

Selectivity perception involves two psychological principles:

(a) Figure Ground Principle:


In the field of perception process, certain factors are considered significant and other meaningless (insignificant) significant portion is called the ‘figure’ and the insignificant portion is labeled as ‘ground’.

(b) Relevancy:

All criterion for selective perception. People selectively perceive things that are relevant to their needs and desires.

B. Internal Set Factors:

Another process component in selectivity is internal set which is based on the individual’s complex psychological make-up. People will select act stimuli or situations from the environment that appeal to and are compatible with their learning and motivation and with their personality.

a. Organization:

The perceived inputs (incoming stimuli) are organized into meaningful pictures to the perceiver. Organizing the information that is incoming into a meaningful whole is called ‘organization’. The process is also leveled as ‘gestalt process’. Gestalt is a German word meaning ‘to organize’.


There are different ways by which people organize the perceived inputs, objects, events for e.g., grouping, closure and simplification.

i. Grouping:

Grouping is possible depending on the similarity or proximity. The tendency to group people or things that appear to be similar in certain ways but not in all, is a common means of organizing the perceptions.

ii. Closure:

The tendency to form a complete message is known as ‘closure’. People when faced with incomplete information have a tendency to fill the gaps themselves to make it more meaningful.

iii. Simplification:


Whenever people are overloaded with information they try to simplify it to make it more meaningful and understandable.

b. Interpretation:

The third and most important mechanism of perception is interpretation. Without the interpretation it does not make any sense. Interpretation is subjective and judgmental process.

In organization, interpretation is influenced by many factors such as:

i. Stereotyping,

ii. Halo effect,


iii. Attribution,

iv. Impression, and

v. Inference.

i. Stereotyping:

The term stereotyping refers to the tendency to perceive another person (hence social perception) as belonging to a single class or category. The word stereotype was first applied by Walter Lippmann to perception. Since then, stereotyping has become a frequently used term to describe perceptual errors.

It is employed in analyzing prejudice. Not commonly acknowledged is the fact that stereotyping may attribute favourable or unfavourable traits to the persons being perceived. Most often a person is put into a stereotype because the perceiver knows only the overall category to which the person belongs.


However, because each individual is unique, the real traits of the person will be quite different from those of the stereotype. The basic problem with stereotyping is that it does not give in-depth truth and give rise to distortion because sometimes perception may be inaccurate and based on a false impression about a particular group.

ii. Halo Effect:

It is the process of using a single trait of individual and drawing a general impression about him. It has an important implication for evaluation employees in an organization. These employees with certain features are rated highly on other characteristics also. But halo effect, while finding in the process, leads to negative effects.

iii. Attribution:

Refers simply to how a person explains the cause of author’s or his or her own behaviour. It plays, in the process, an important role to diagnose motivation and leadership. For example, attributions have been formed to effect evaluations of other’s performance, to determine the manner in which supervisors behave toward subordinates, and to influence personal satisfaction with one’s work. It depends on internal, personal attributions or external, situational attributions.

iv. Impression:


People often form impression of others on the first sight. Even before knowing any of their personality traits they start having impression and assess. This sometimes leads to perceptual distortions.

v. Inference:

There is a growing tendency on the part of people to judge others on limited information. For example, an employee might be sitting at his desk throughout the working hours without doing anything but it is inferred that he is hardworking.

You observe an individual complaining about the food, service and decor in a restaurant. To answer why? You can conclude that—


Term Paper # 4. Role of Perception in Organizational Activities:

Impression Management in the Employment Interview:

Looking Good to Prospective Employers:

The desire to make a favourable impression on others is universal. So efforts by individuals to improve how they appear to others known as—impression management. In employment interview, for example there are several things job candidates commonly do to enhance the impressions they make.

In a recent study researchers audiotaped the interviews between college students looking for jobs and representatives of companies that posted openings at the campus job placement center. The various statements made by the candidates were categorized with respect to the impression management techniques they used.

Interviews make perceptual judgments that are often inaccurate. Different interviews see different things in the same candidate and arrive at different conclusions about the applicant.

Employment interview is an important input into the hiring decision. With this in mind the job interview may be seen as an ongoing effort on behalf of candidates to present themselves favorably and for interviewers to try to see through those attempts to judge candidates accurately.

Performance Appraisals: Formal Judgments about Job Performance:

Performance Appraisal:

The process of evaluating employees on various work—related dimensions. Typically performance appraisals are conducted on an annual or semiannual basis usually for purposes of determining, increments, promotions, and training needs. When properly conducted performance appraisal provide valuable feedback towards improving job performance.

While this may be objective most jobs are evaluated in subjective term. Subjective measures are judgmental. The evaluator forms a general impression on an employee’s work. The press should be rational, unbiased leading to objective judgment. But as far as perception is concerned, the evaluation process is far from objective, (an inherently biased process).

Level of Ratings:

Depends on the extent to which that performance is consistent with their initial exceptions. Managers give higher ratings to those who are loyal to him or follow their instructions; generally more at executive level than lower level.

Perception is based not only on the characteristics of the persons being perceived but on the characteristics of the perceiver as well. This conclusion is supported by research, showing several different attribution biases in evaluation of job performance. For example how the similar-to-me effect operates in a performance appraisal situation. (Cultivate positive impression of superior).

In other words, our evaluations of other’s performance are qualified by the nature of the attributions we make about that performance. They represent as complex mix of perceptual biases—effects that must be appreciated and well understood if we are to have any chance of improving the accuracy of the performance evaluation process.


What individuals perceive from their work situation will influence their productivity. It does not matter much whether a job is actually interesting or challenging (not relevant). How a manager successfully places and organizes the work of his subordinates and actually helps them in structuring their work is far less important than how his subordinates perceive his efforts.

Therefore to be able to influence productivity it is necessary to assess how workers perceive their jobs.

Administrative Behaviour and Perception:

The place of perception in attitude formation and behaviour is significant. Behaviours occur as the respect of perception should members perceive hostility and aggression, they will react with behaviours appropriate to such threats. If one subconsciously feels inferior to another, that person will act in a submissive manner.

Managers are no different except that they function in more complex and ambiguous situations than do subordinates or people. Yet the manager’s relationships with others are based on perceptions of their basic natures and motivations.

McGregor identified two major perceptual structures which he labeled Theory X and Y. The manager who perceives people according to either structure, regardless of whether or not such perceptions are recognized or acknowledged, will behave in predictable patterns because of personal assumptions, beliefs and attitudes.

Social Perception and Social Identity:

When it causes to form opinions, there is a subtle process going on—a process people use to judge and understand the people and things with which they come into contact. This process known as social perception—what others like. This is the process of combining, integrating and interpreting information about others to gain an accurate understanding of them.

Meeting New People:

An opportunity for social perception, goes on all the time in organizations.

Job Satisfaction:

Job satisfaction is as highly subjective and feeling of the benefits that derive from the job. This is critically linked to perception. If job satisfaction is to be improved the worker’s perception of the job characteristics, supervision and the organization as whole must be positive.

The important fact is that people who work together often see things differently and this difference can create problems in their ability to work together effectively. In order to decrease the errors involved in perception, one has to keep in mind the way the perceptual process work.

By understanding the process one can do a better job at missing their negative effect secondly, one can compare one’s perception with other people, if they are representing different backgrounds, cultures or training.

Thirdly, one should understand other person’s point of view, it may help to know why one is wrong.

Fourthly, one should be willing to change, when one comes across new information. This will overcome stereotypes, halo effects, and perceptual defences.

Finally, one should view the world in dynamic terms because one’s understanding the process of perception is important because:

(i) It should be that a person’s definition of reality will be identical to an objective assessment of reality.

(ii) It is unlikely that two different person’s definition of reality will be exactly the same.

(iii) Individuals perceptions directly influences the behaviour exhibited in a given situation.

In short it can be said that perceptual skills can be enhanced by:

(a) Knowing and perceiving oneself accurately.

(b) Being emphatic i.e., to see a situation as it is experienced by others.

(c) Having positive attitudes which helps in reduction of perceptual distortions.

(d) Enhancing one’s self-concept which helps in perceiving more accurately.

(e) Masking a conscious effort to avoid the possible concern biases in perception.

(f) Communicating with employees to erase incorrect perceptions.

(g) Avoiding attributions.

Perception is an important process in an organization. It plays a vital role in forming the basis of one’s behaviour by which one formulates a view of the world.