The perceptual side of communication in psychology: characteristics

There is such a thing as social perception, which translated from Latin (perceptio) means “perception”. In relation to the psychology of society, we consider how a person sees the situation and what conclusions he draws. And most importantly, psychologists note, what actions should be expected from this or that individual who belonged to a certain group of like-minded people.

Social perception is characterized by the following functions:

  • Self-knowledge;
  • Knowledge of the interlocutor, partner;
  • Establishing contacts within the team in the process of joint activities;
  • Establishing a positive microclimate.

Social perception studies behavior patterns between individuals with different levels of development, but belonging to the same society, collective. Behavioral reactions are formed on the basis of social stereotypes, knowledge of which explains communication patterns.

There are two aspects of social perception in the study of psychological compatibility processes. These are the following questions:

  • Study of social and psychological characteristics of an individual subject and object of perception;
  • Analysis of the mechanism of interpersonal communication.

In order to ensure knowledge and understanding of another person, as well as oneself in the process of communication, there are special mechanisms of social perception that allow one to make predictions regarding the actions of communication partners.

What is social perception

The concept of social perception dates back to the ancient world. Many philosophers and artists of that time made a significant contribution to the formation of this area. It should also be noted that this concept is important in the field of psychology.

Perception is one of the important functions in mental perception, which manifests itself as a process that has a complex structure. Thanks to this process, a person not only receives various information from the senses, but also transforms it. Impact on various analyzers leads to the formation of integral images in the individual’s mind. Based on the above, we can conclude that perception is characterized as one of the forms of sensory reproduction.

Perception is based on the characteristics of individual features that help generate information based on accurate sensory images.

The cognitive function in question is closely related to skills such as memory, logical thinking and concentration. This concept depends on the strength of influence of life stimuli, which are endowed with an emotional coloring. Perception consists of structures such as meaningfulness and context.

Perception is actively studied by representatives of various fields, including psychologists, cybernetics and physiologists. During differential experiments, various techniques are used, including simulations of different situations, experiments, and an empirical form of analysis. Understanding the mechanism of social perception is important in the field of practical psychology. It is this tool that acts as the foundation for the development of various systems affecting the sphere of human activity.

Social perception studies behaviors between individuals at different levels of development

Influence of perceptual factors

Perceptual factors are divided into two categories: external and internal influences. Among external factors, criteria such as movement, number of repetitions, contrast, size and depth of manifestation should be highlighted. Among the internal factors, experts identify the following:

  1. Incentive is the motivation to achieve goals that are of high importance to the individual.
  2. The individual’s perception setting – when finding himself in certain life situations, a person is based on previously gained experience.
  3. Experience - various life difficulties experienced, influence the perception of the world around us.
  4. Individual characteristics of perception - depending on the type of personality (optimism or pessimism), a person perceives the same life difficulties in a positive or unfavorable light.
  5. Perception of one’s own “I” - all events occurring in a person’s life are assessed based on the personal prism of perception.

Some phenomena

When contacting each other, people encounter various unusual phenomena. A common phenomenon that occurs in teams is in-group favoritism. In a certain association, people tend to inflate the assessments of members and have a negative attitude towards the similar merits of another group.

Another type of phenomenon is the illusion of reciprocity. The individual perceives the attitude of others toward himself in the same way as he treats these people. A simple example is that manager Ivan communicates positively with everyone and believes that the rest of the company’s employees perceive him as a polite person.

The phenomenon of similarity can influence an individual’s perception. With it, the individual is inclined to believe that people close to him think the same way as he does. A similar phenomenon can be observed between a boss and subordinates. The leader will try to foster unity of opinions. The structure of each phenomenon is individual and manifests itself in different ways.

The influence of psychological perception on interaction with society

Social perception in psychology is a term used to describe the process of an individual's assessment and understanding of people around him, his own personality, or social objects . Such objects consist of social societies and various groups. The term in question began to be used in psychology in the forties of the last century. This concept was first used by the American psychologist Jerome Bruner. Thanks to the work of this scientist, researchers were able to consider various problems associated with perceiving the world around us from a different angle.

Every person has inherent sociality. Throughout his life, a person builds communicative connections with the people around him. The formation of interpersonal relationships leads to the formation of separate groups that are connected by the same worldview or similar interests. Based on this, we can say that a person as an individual participates in various types of relationships between people. The nature of the attitude towards society depends on the degree of personal perception and how a person evaluates the people around him. At the initial stage of building a communicative connection, external qualities are assessed. Following appearance, the interlocutor’s behavior model is assessed, which allows the formation of a certain level of relationship.

It is on the basis of the above qualities that the image of perception of the people around us is formed. Social perception has many forms of manifestation. In most cases, this term is used to characterize personal perception. Each person perceives not only his own personality, but also the social group to which he belongs. In addition, there is a form of perception that is characteristic only of participants in such groups. It is perception, based on the framework of a social group, that is the second form of manifestation of perception. The last form of perception is group perception. Each group perceives both its own members and members of other groups.

Behavioral reactions are formed on the basis of social stereotypes, knowledge of which explains communication patterns

The function of social perception is to evaluate the activities of surrounding people. Each individual carefully analyzes the individual characteristics of the temperament of those around him, their external attractiveness, lifestyle and actions. Based on this analysis, an idea of ​​the people around you and their behavior is formed.

Characteristics and features of stereotyping: how the perceptual side of communication is manifested in it

Perception is a term that refers to understanding and accepting another person. As you can see, it is closely intertwined with many stereotypes imposed by society. In the process of communication, they appear under the influence of 3 factors:

  1. Superiority. It is most noticeable if the interlocutors have different status, financial situation, and intellectual abilities. You can either overestimate a person, or, conversely, underestimate him.
  2. Attractiveness. In any case, perception is influenced by sympathy or antipathy. Beautiful people are always attributed more positive qualities.
  3. Attitude towards us. You will most likely always perceive people who treat you well in a positive way.

These factors of social perception distort the idea of ​​a person and interfere with the creation of an objective assessment of him. In addition to stereotypes, some barriers can disrupt the perception mechanism:

  1. Use of jargon, unknown words, terms, and concepts in speech.
  2. Fear of expressing your feelings and emotions.
  3. Lack of interest in the topic being discussed.
  4. Difference of opinion.
  5. Having physical problems, such as hearing or speech problems.
  6. The inability to understand and evaluate the behavior of the interlocutor due to communication by phone or via the Internet.
  7. Language differences.
  8. Reluctance to accept what is heard.
  9. Differences in culture and worldview in general.

It is almost impossible to remove these barriers during perception, since a person becomes aware of information only by passing it through several of his “filters.” Therefore, during the conversation, you need to highlight and then convey the essence so that the interlocutor can correctly decipher it. The responsibility for this lies with the perceptual side of communication. By understanding your opponent’s inner world, you can choose the right model of behavior. There are 4 of them:

  1. Humanistic. Mutual interest has arisen between you and your opponent, empathy is manifested.
  2. Manipulative. You are trying to impose your point of view, position. Such actions do not always have positive consequences.
  3. Ritual. Your behavior takes into account the cultural traditions of the interlocutor.

Another model of behavior is called transactional analysis. This is a way of interaction that takes into account the role of each participant in the conversation. There are only 3 such roles:

  • “parent” tells how to behave;
  • “adult” tells how to combine desires and responsibilities;
  • The “child” is guided by emotions.

If both you and your interlocutor have these roles, be sure that the information will be perceived correctly.

Mechanism of social perception

Social perception is a process on the basis of which a forecast of behavior patterns and reactions of society is made in various life conditions. The mechanisms of interpersonal perception presented below allow us to study the subtlety of this process:

  1. Attraction is the study of surrounding people, which is based on positive perception. Thanks to this mechanism, people gain the ability to interact closely with others, which has a positive impact on the formation of sensory relationships. A striking example of this function is the manifestation of love, sympathy and friendly feelings.
  2. Identification - this mechanism is used as an intuitive study of personality based on modeling various situations. Based on his own beliefs, a person analyzes the internal state of others. Example: when making assumptions about the state of an interlocutor, a person tends to mentally imagine himself in his place.
  3. Casual attribution is a mechanism for creating a forecast of the behavior of others, based on the characteristics of one’s own personality. When a person is faced with a misunderstanding of the motives of the actions of others, he begins to predict the behavior pattern of other people based on his own feelings, incentives and other individual properties.
  4. Reflection is a mechanism of self-knowledge based on interaction in society. This “tool” is based on the skills of presenting one’s own personality through the “eyes” of the interlocutor. As an example, imagine a dialogue between Vasya and Pasha. At least six “personalities” take part in this type of communication: Vasya’s personality, his idea of ​​his own personality, and Vasya’s idea of ​​personality through the eyes of Pasha. Exactly the same images are recreated in Pasha’s mind.
  5. Stereotyping is a mechanism for creating a stable image of surrounding people and phenomena. It is important to note that such images have characteristics depending on social factors. As an example of stereotyping, we can cite the persistent idea that most outwardly attractive people are prone to narcissism, representatives of Germany are pedantic, and employees of law enforcement agencies think straightforwardly.
  6. Empathy is the ability to have emotional sympathy, provide psychological support and participate in the lives of people around you. This mechanism is a key skill in the work of specialists from the fields of psychology, medicine and pedagogy.

The tools used by social perception ensure the establishment of communication between individuals.
The above types of cognition of the personality of others are based not only on the physical characteristics of a person, but also on the nuances of the behavior model. The building of close communication ties is facilitated by the participation of both partners in the conversation. Social perception depends on the stimuli, feelings and lifestyle of each participant in interpersonal relationships. An important component of this cognitive function is the subjective analysis of surrounding individuals.

The importance of first impressions

An in-depth study of social perception has made it possible to identify key factors that influence the strength of impressions about a person . According to experts, when dating, most people pay increased attention to their hair, eyes and facial expressions. Based on this, we can say that a friendly smile during acquaintance is perceived as a sign of cordiality and a positive attitude.

There are three main points that are decisive in the process of forming first impressions of a new personality. Experts include such factors as the degree of superiority, attractiveness and attitude.

  1. “Superiority” is most acutely expressed in a situation when the personality of a particular individual is superior in some way and is perceived as dominant in other areas. Against this background, there is a global change in the assessment of one’s own qualities. It is important to note that people with low self-esteem are more susceptible to the influence of “superiority of others”. This explains the fact that in critical conditions people express trust in those who were previously treated negatively.
  2. “Attractiveness,” which is a feature of social perception, is a factor on the basis of which the degree of attractiveness of others is analyzed. The main mistake of such a perception is that, paying increased attention to external qualities, a person forgets about analyzing the psychological and social characteristics of those around him.
  3. “Attitude” is based on the perception of a person, depending on the attitude towards his personality. The negative effect of such perception is based on the fact that with a good attitude and shared life position, a person begins to overestimate the positive qualities of others.

The primacy effect in social perception manifests itself upon first acquaintance

Main types

Social maladjustment in psychology

Perception extends beyond just the contact between two people, it affects entire groups. Therefore, there are different options for social perception. The first classification concerns the individual himself.

A person can perceive himself, his social group and an unfamiliar community

Within a team, people usually communicate and form an idea about each member, at the same time two groups of united people also evaluate each other. Within the group, individuals consider themselves to be good people and usually have negative attitudes towards outsiders.

Methodology for the development of perceptual perception

According to the famous psychologist Dale Carnegie, a simple smile is enough to evoke sympathy from others. That is why, if you want to build a strong communication connection with others, you should learn how to smile correctly. Today, there are many psychological techniques for developing facial gestures that help enhance the transmission of experienced emotions. Managing your own facial expressions allows you not only to improve the quality of social perception, but also to gain the opportunity to better understand others.

One of the most effective methods for developing social perception skills is the Ekman practice. The basis of this method is to focus on three zones of the human face. These areas include the forehead, chin and nose. It is these zones that best reflect emotional states such as feelings of anger, fear, disgust or sadness.

The ability to analyze facial gestures allows you to decipher the feelings that the interlocutor experiences. This practice has become widespread in the field of psychology, thanks to which a specialist has the opportunity to build a communicative relationship with persons with mental disorders.

Perception is a complex mechanism of human mental perception. The quality of operation of this system depends on many different external and internal factors. Such factors include age, experience and individual personality traits.

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