Such personal characteristics can be the aggregation of attitudes, personality, motives, interests and so also the past experiences. Again the characteristics of the object or target and so also the situation can affect the perception. Finally, the context in which the object or target and the situation are being perceived is also important.
Based on the above, we can broadly categorize perception into the three areas as under:
1. Attitude, personality, values, motive, interests, experience and expectations of the perceiver.
2. Time, work situation and social setting of the situation.
3. Shape, size, shape, sound, movement, background and profile of the object or the target.
Perceiver is the individual who perceives the object, target or the situation. Attitude develops a frame of reference, which helps the individual to perceive. Thus, attitude is a stable way of thinking, perceiving and acting towards a situation or object. Personality is the set of traits and characteristics, which forms the habit strength and a static response pattern to a certain stimuli. Values are basic convictions which depict an individual’s moral structure.
It helps to determine what is right and what is wrong. Motives are unsatisfied needs, which exert influence on perception. Interest is the likings and disliking of the people. Past experience narrows down the perception, i.e., it nullifies the interest on objects or targets or situation.
In contrast, however, objects, targets and situation which have not been experienced earlier, evoke more interests. Finally, from the perceiver’s point of view, expectations also distort perception, when the gap between what we see and what we expect widens.
Individual’s perception is often situation specific. Time, work and social settings are the three constructs of a situation. A boss in office is perceived differently by his/her subordinates. However, the same boss when becomes informal with all his/her subordinates in a party, is perceived differently.
Similarly, objects or targets in relation to its shape, size, shade, sound, silhouette, movement and background influence one’s perception. A police officer in uniform may be perceived as ruthless and tough, while in the core of his/her heart; she/he may be soft and delicate.