Perception is the different mental processes that are used to form impressions of other people. This includes not only when you form impressions of others, but also the different conclusions that are made about other people based on our own impressions. How often do you make these kinds of judgments each day?

Maybe inadvertently you do it when you meet a new co- worker as soon as he shows up through the door. It is also possible that when you go shopping you immediately draw conclusions from the supermarket cashier, even if you do not know anything about that person.

People allow themselves to make quick judgments and decisions but they can also lead to biased or stereotyped perceptions of other people. But how does the perception of people and the impact they have on daily interactions with others?

The impressions of others

Obviously, the perception of the person can be a very subjective process that can be affected by a number of variables. Factors that can influence your impressions of other people include the characteristics of the person you are observing, the context of the situation, your own personal traits, and your past experiences .

People often form impressions of others very quickly with minimal information. Impressions are often based on the roles and social norms that we expect of people. Physical cues can also play a role. 

If you see a woman dressed in a professional-looking suit, you can immediately assume that she works in a formal setting, perhaps in a law firm or bank. The importance of the information we perceive is also important. In general, we tend to focus on the most obvious points rather than pointing out background information. The more novel or obvious a factor is, the more likely we are to focus on it. If you see a woman dressed in a tailored suit and her hair styled into a bright pink turban, you are likely paying more attention to her unusual hairstyle than her sensible business attire.

Social categorization

Social categorization is a form of mental shortcut that is used when one person has a perception of another. People are mentally categorized into different groups based on common characteristics. Sometimes this process occurs consciously, but for the most part, social categorizations occur automatically or unconsciously. Some more common groups to categorize are gender, age, etc.

Social categorization has both positive and negative aspects. One of the strengths of social categorization is that it allows people to make judgments very quickly. Realistically, you just don’t have time to get to know each and every person you come in contact with individually and personally … Using social categorization allows you to make decisions and set expectations for how people will behave. people in certain situations almost instantly, allowing you to focus on other things. What happens with this is that you can make mistakes and fall into prejudices .

An example that you can take into account to understand it better: Imagine that you are on a bus and you see a poorly dressed man in one seat and an old woman in another seat. You think that the old woman is more harmless and that she cannot hurt you because of what you sit next to her. But it turns out that the old woman is an expert thief and steals your wallet … instead, the poorly dressed man warns you that the woman is stealing from you. Due to the social categorization, you immediately judged the woman as harmless and the man as a threat, which almost led you to lose your wallet. While social categorization can be helpful at times, it can also lead to these kinds of misjudgments. 

Elle Mcdonald

I am Elle Mcdonald Specializations in Psychology . Graduated in psychology from the University of Tennessee in 2000. Diploma of Advanced Studies in the Department of Personality, Evaluation and psychological treatments with excellent results.

First Level of Master in Clinical Psychology at the Center for Behavioral Therapists (recognized with a scientific-professional nature by the College of Psychologists)

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