My Perception

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It is common for human beings to form perceptions of objects, places and people. It is o major determinant of human communication and a guide to interpersonal relationship. McCornac (2007) strives to explain the process of perception: how it unfolds, factors that influences it, how it eventually forms and how one may improve perceptual accuracy so as to minimize misperception.

A Profile of the Person Who I Think the Music List Belongs To

PROFILE DETAILS

PERCEIVED  PROFILE (MINE)

ACTUAL PROFILE

Age range

30-40

44

Gender

male

male

 Profession

Musician

Musician

Ethnicity

American

American

Personality traits

Extremist, male chauvinist

 

 Marital Status

In a Brocken relationship/Divorced

Married

 Family make up

Grew up in a male dominated family and unhappy family

 Never knew of his father till when he was 11

Hobbies and Interests

Singing

Singing

Highest Education Level

High School

College (Dropped )

Profile music: walk like a man/kill myself/just be your tear

Album: live Like you were dying

Artist: Tim McGraw

Genera: country music

According to McCornac (2007), in making perception, an individual undergoes three chronological steps, namely (1) selection, where one focuses attention on a particular stimuli in one’s environment depending on the degree to which the stimuli attracts attention (salience); (2)organization, where the selected information is put into a coherent pattern in the mind, usually with restructuring and punctuation that is consistent with one’s experience; (3) and interpretation of information , involving assigning of meaning to the already selected and organized information and while relying on schemata.

In creating the profile, all the above processes played significant roles. The mention of ‘song list’ attracts and shifts attention to details of a musician somewhere and the mind recollects lots of information about musicians (selection). Since I am personally interested in music and is familiar with a number of them, I tended to restructure the flooding information based on my past knowledge about them. For instance, majority of the musicians who sing about love song are youthful. Besides, a number of musicians tend to depict what actually transpires in their life. Further, I have always noted that musicians always advocate for their ideals through songs. In the light of these experiences, I was able to arrive at an interpretation that the person was not likely to be an exception (that he was a youth, because he has love songs, hence I an age range of 30-40; that he was in a broken love, hence sang songs on the theme of broken love, and that he is male chauvinist because he sings of being ‘like a man’). The role of attribution and schema thus comes to play.

McCornac (2007) notes that it  is at the last stage (interpretation) that distortion and inaccuracy often results owing to self-serving bias, attribution error and actor-observer effect. In this case, attribution error and actor-observer led to misperception as to the marital status and age-range. My basis for perceiving the 30-40 age rage and broken love/divorce marital status was based on my past experience with other musicians particularly that ones who sing sad love songs are either divorced or have their love broken. I then connected a title like ‘walk-like a man’ to need for courage against the emaciating effect of being jilted. Besides, a number of musicians rarely go beyond high school. However, all these turned out to be wrong as the artist was married,  44 years (off the rage that I had perceived) and reached a college level and not high school as I had perceived (although he dropped at the college)

Upon making references as to the actual profile in the exercise above, I was able to actively gain further information about the person, some of which were largely uncertain. For instance, it was difficult to guess some of the finer details like how many children the person has, the name of his father or that of his wife. This reflects the application of McCornac’s uncertainty reduction theory, where one need to pursue information should one face unfamiliar communication scenario. It helped me verify my interpretation and even learn more.

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