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Factors affecting perceptual

selectivity and organisation

Source: Human Relations &
Organizational Behavior Dwivedi
(available in google books)
Factors affecting perceptual selectivity
Situational factors
eg: instruction of experimenter in laboratory situations
Motivational factors(increases individuals sensitivity to those
stimuli which he considers as relevant to satisfaction of his
eg: hunger and thirst
Stimulus factors/ external attention
Involve intensity of stimulus, size of stimulus, change and

Stimulus factors/ external attention factors
The amount of attention increases with the size of stimulus
The more intense the external stimulus, the more likely that it
will be perceived
Individuals attend to changing objects in their field of vision
than to static objects
A repeated external stimulus attracts more attention than the
one time stimuli.

Perceptual Organization
Primitive processes/ Structural factors
Functional factors
Primitive processes/Structural factors
The central nervous system does not register the raw sensory
data in passive form. It does more to them by creating a
definite organization.
Some organizing processes, which gives meaning to the
incoming event data, appear to take place in the nervous
system which are relatively free from the effects of past
experience or motivational factors primitive process.
Kinds of primitive perceptual
Figure ground effect
Constancy phenomenon tendency to assign perceptual
constancy to inconstant world
Monocular cues
give rise to distance perception
Binocular cues
Gestalt principles of organisation
Functional factors
Symbolic factors
Involve intellectual as well as motivational factors
Intellectual factors relate to the classification of objects into existing
categories of experience not influenced by emotions.
eg: a teacher from archeological dept will perceive an ancient idol
kept in a museum quite differently from an illiterate man.

Motivational factors- motivated tensions in the individual increases
his sensitivity to those stimuli, which are relevant for the
satisfaction of his motives and determines the manner in which he
perceives ambiguous objects.
eg: hunger has a tendency to enhance the apparent size of fud
Personality and attitudinal factors
Individuals personal patterns of needs, interests and attitudes
organize his perceptions
Threatening and taboo words cause perceptual difficulty for
individuals who tend to have a mental block to these words
and need more exposure to recognize them.
Propensity of individuals to shut their perceptual doors to
those aspects of their environment which they find
unbearable perceptual distortion
Social factors
Group effect can establish perceptual norms, which
determine the manner in which people interpret their
Social pressures or suggestions tend to restructure the
individuals perceptual world


Individual inherits a similarity to other individuals as well as a
uniqueness in the form of genes and chromosomes
Inherits physical traits and the ability to learn and behave
Inherited traits combine with environmental factors to cause
the unique pattern of adjustment of an individual
Biological development
The growth of the individual is influenced by the functioning
of the ductless glands, like pituitary, thyroid, adrenals and
The extent of maturity of individual determines the limit of
what he can learn and what he cannot
The childhood sensory and perceptual experiences contribute
markedly towards the magnitude of maturity of sensory and
perceptual abilities
Child parent relationships considerably influence the
development of an individual
Nervous system
Nervous system integrates human behavior and personality.
Integration of human behavior takes place because of the
constant functioning of receptors, effectors and connectors.
Human behavior ranges from simple reflex action to complex
problem solving activity
Components of nervous system
Somatic system spinal and cranial nerves
Automatic system sympathetic(functions in emotional
situations) and para sympathetic system(operates in routine