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PS28A Applied Interpersonal Dynamics


Pillow Method 5 Positions. Position 3 Both right, both wrong ... decide whether we should have a large, festive wedding, or a small, intimate one. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: PS28A Applied Interpersonal Dynamics

PS28A Applied Interpersonal Dynamics

What Is Perception?
  • We usually see things we are looking for so
    much that we sometimes see them where they are
    not (Eric Hoffer)
  • We want the facts to fit the preconceptions.
    When they dont it is easier to ignore the facts
    than to change the preconceptions.

What is perception?
  • Definition
  • A process by which individuals organize and
    interpret their sensory impressions in order to
    give meaning to their environment and their
  • (Robbins, 1996, italics mine)

  • What do you see when you look at this image?

  • How many legs does this elephant have?

  • What image is this portrait?

Do we all see the man and the woman in this
Factors Influencing Perception
  • The Perceiver
  • When an individual looks at a target what he/she
    sees is heavily influenced by personal
  • - Attitudes, motives, interests, past
  • (See Katzs Model)

Factors Influencing Perception
  • The Target
  • Characteristics in the target that is being
    observed can affect what is perceived
  • Motion, size, sound
  • Its background

Factors Influencing Perception
  • The Situation
  • The environment in which the person or object is
    seen or where an event took place

The Perception Process
  • There are three basic processes
  • Selection
  • Organization
  • Interpretation

The Perception Process contd
  • Selection - A sub process of identifying the
    relevant/appropriate data.
  • Intensity physical properties or cues that
    stand out
  • Repetition continuous exposure to a stimulus
    increases our awareness of it.
  • Contrast Contrasting stimulus may be easily
  • Motives speaks to the reasoning behind the

The Perception Process contd
  • Organization
  • Involves the application of meaning to the
    stimulus (making sense of the information)
  • How does this sub-process work?
  • Use of perceptual schema or cognitive frameworks

The Perception Process contd
  • Organization contd.
  • Our perceptual schema consists of a number of
    different constructs that we use to classify self
    and others
  • Physical constructs appearance/look
  • Role constructs social status
  • Interaction constructs social behaviour
  • Psychological constructs feelings displayed
  • Membership construct identify others according
    to the group they belong

Perception Process
  • These schemas affect communication in two ways
  • Allow us to form impressions of others
  • Used to predict future behaviours
  • Choosing some constructs means that you ignore

The Perception Process contd
  • Interpretation the third level of the
    perception process that determines our reactions
    to the stimulus.

The Perception Process contd
  • Interpretation contd
  • A number of factors may influence our
    interpretation. Four of these are
  • Degree of involvement with the other person
  • Past Experience
  • Expectations
  • Self concept

Influences on Perception
  • Physiological influences
  • Cultural differences
  • Social Roles
  • Self concept
  • Shared Narratives

Influences on Perception
  • Physiological influences
  • The senses
  • Age
  • Health
  • Fatigue
  • Hunger
  • Biological Cycles

Influences on Perception
  • Cultural differences
  • Culture is a powerful factor in shaping
    perception. Every culture has its own world

Influences on Perception
  • Self Concept
  • Extensive research shows that a person with high
    self-esteem is more likely to think well of
    others whereas someone with low self-esteem is
    likely to have a poor opinion of others

Influences on Perception
  • Shared Narratives
  • Our interaction with other individuals and groups
    creates a shared perception of the world. The
    term narrative reflects the notion that humans
    make sense of the world by spinning a kind of
    story to explain events.

A Model of Perception (Susan Fritz et. Al.
Interpersonal skills for leadership)
Inner World
Outer World
Senses Expectations Desire Interest Emotions Attit
udes Self-perception Tendencies
Verbal Nonverbal Culture Gender Observations Conte
New Brain Patterns
Person Perception
  • People have beliefs about other people they know.
    These beliefs guide people in several ways.
  • Within social psychology, the study of beliefs
    about people is called person perception.
  • Person perception may be distinguished from
    object perception in several ways

Person vs Object Perception
  • Person perception is reciprocal.
  • Persons are aware that others are perceiving them
    and try to evaluate what is being perceived.
  • Person perception is directly tied to self
  • People change more than physical object do .

The Role of Perception within the Interpersonal
  • Why is is important to understand the subject
    area of perception?
  • 1. To identify our own tendencies in perceiving
    self and others.
  • 2. To increase our awareness of how these
    tendencies affect (positive/negative) our
    interpersonal relationships and encounters.

The Role of Perception within the Interpersonal
  • Our Tendencies
  • We often tend to judge ourselves more generously
    than we judge others
  • We tend to be influenced by what is most obvious
  • We tend to cling to first impressions
  • We tend to assume others are similar to us

  • Attribution Theory Main concept internal vs.
    external locus of control the interpretation of
    situations as being caused by ones disposition
    or by ones environment.

  • Attribution is the process of attaching meaning
    to behaviour (Adler Towne)

  • Self-Serving Bias
  • We make internal attributions about our
    successes or positive outcome and blame our
    failures or negative outcomes on external factors

  • Fundamental Attribution Error
  • We tend to emphasise external factors and
    underemphasize internal or situational factors

  • Attribution Cube Theory Harold Kelly 1971.
  • Attribution Cube Theory highlights three
    factors that determine whether the behaviour of
    others is attributed to internal or external
  • Consensus Does the behaviour affect everyone in
    the same way?
  • Consistency Does the behaviour occur
  • Distinctiveness Does the behaviour occur in
    other similar situations

  • Can we use attribution effectively?

  • Perception checking is an important approach to
    ensuring that we do not assume that our first
    interpretation is correct or be treated as facts.
  • It involves three basic elements

Perception Checking - Steps
  • Description of Behaviour - give a non evaluated,
    descriptive account of what was noticed.
  • At least two possible interpretations - give two
    possible interpretations to what was seen
  • A request for clarification about how to
    interpret the behaviour give the person the
    opportunity to clarify the behaviour displayed

Example of Perception Checking
  • When you stomped out of the room and slammed the
    door (behaviour), I wasnt sure whether you were
    mad at me (first interpretation) or just in a
    hurry (second interpretation). How did you feel?
    (request for clarification)

  • Empathy is the ability to re-create anothers
    perspective to experience the world from
    anothers point of view.
  • It involves three dimensions
  • Perspective taking
  • Emotional aspect
  • Genuine concern for the others welfare

  • Perspective Taking
  • An attempt to take on the viewpoint of another
    person set aside your own judgment/opinions and
    try to understand the other person

  • Emotional Taking
  • The ability to get close to experiencing others
    feelings to get a sense of their fear, joy,
    sadness, anger, frustration, etc.

  • Genuine Concern
  • It is going beyond just thinking and feeling as
    the individual, and expressing genuine care about
    anothers well being.

Build Empathy Pillow Method
  • Position 1 Im right, youre wrong
  • We see virtues in our position and find fault
    with anyone who happens to disagree with us.
  • Position 2 Youre right, Im wrong
  • We switch perspectives and build the strongest
    possible arguments to explain how another person
    can view the issue different from you.

Pillow Method 5 Positions
  • Position 3 Both right, both wrong
  • From this position you see strengths and
    weaknesses in both perspectives.
  • Position 4 The issue isnt as important as it
  • Realizing that the controversy is not as critical
    as you thought

Pillow Method 5 Positions
  • Position 5 There is truth in all 4 perspectives
  • Once you have looked at the issue from all
    positions, you will gain new insights that may
    cause you to
  • Change your mind
  • Solve the problem at hand
  • Increase your own tolerance
  • Improve the communcation climate

The Pillow Method In Action
  • Background
  • Who would have thought planning a wedding would
    be such a nightmare? My fiancé and I are
    struggling to decide whether we should have a
    large, festive wedding, or a small, intimate one.
    Im in favour of having a big, expensive
    ceremony and party. He wants a smaller, more
    affordable one.

Position1 Im right, hes wrong
  • I have a big family, and I would feel guilty not
    inviting everyone. Also, we have lots of
    friends who would really miss not being present
    to celebrate our special day. If we invite one
    friend or a relative, I say we have to invite
    them all to avoid hurting anybodys feelings.
    Otherwise, where do you draw the line? As far as
    money goes, I say that you only get to marry
    once, and this is no time to scrimp. My parents
    are willing to help pay the expenses because they
    want our entire family to be there at the

Position2 Hes right, Im wrong
  • My fiancé is right to say that we really dont
    have the funds to spend on a fancy wedding.
    Every dollar we spend on a lavish event will be
    one less dollar we have to buy a house, which we
    hope to do soon. My boyfriend is right to say
    that a big wedding could postpone our house
    purchase for a year or two maybe even longer, if
    real estate prices go up before we

Position 2 cont
  • can buy. Hes also right to say that no matter
    how many people we invite, someone is always
    going to be left out. Its just a case of where
    we draw the line. Finally, hes right to say
    that planning a big wedding will be a very
    stressful process.

Position 3Both right wrong
  • Both of us are right and both are wrong. Im
    right to want to include my extended families and
    friends on this joyous day, and Im right to say
    that a special wedding would be a lifetime
    memory. Hes right that doing so could still
    leave some hurt feelings, and that it will
    postpone our house purchase. He also has a good
    point when he says that planning a big event
    could drive us crazy, and distract us from the
    real importance of joining our lives.

Position 4 The issue is not important
  • After thinking about it, Ive realized that
    getting married is different from being married.
    The decision about what kind of ceremony to have
    is important, but ultimately it wont affect the
    kind of marriage we have. How we behave after
    were married will be much more important. And
    we are going to face a lot of decisions together
    about children and jobs for e.g. that will
    have much bigger consequences than this ceremony.

Position 5Conclusion
  • Before using the pillow method to think through
    all sides of this issue, I was focused on getting
    my way. This attitude was creating some feelings
    between my fiancé and I that were not what we
    should not be having as we face this most
    important event. Ive realized that if one or
    the other of us wins but the result is injured
    feelings, it wont be much of a victory. I dont
    know what kind of

Position 5 cont
  • ceremony we will finally decide to have, but Im
    determined to keep my focus on the really
    important goal of keeping our relationship
    positive and respectful.