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In philosophy, psychology and cognitive science, perception is the process of attaining awareness or understanding of sensory information. The word "perception" comes from the Latin words perceptio, percipio and means "receiving, collecting, action of taking possession apprehension with the mind or senses."
Perception is one of the oldest fields in psychology. The oldest quantitative law in psychology is the Weber-Fechner law, which quantifies the relationship between the intensity of physical stimuli and the perceptual effects. The study of perception gave rise to the Gestalt school of psychology, with in emphasis on holistic approach.
What one perceives is a result of interplays between past experiences, including one's culture and the interpretation of the perceived. If the percept does not have support in any of these perceptual bases it unlikely to rise above perceptual threshold.
Measuring Programmer Job Satisfaction
Job Satisfaction: Why Your Job Isn't a Bowl Full of Cherries (about nursing) Job Satisfaction: Putting Theory Into Practice Beyond "Near-Life Experiences"
Self-perception theory is an account of attitude change developed by psychologist Daryl Bem. It asserts that we only have that knowledge of our own behavior and its causation that another person can have and that we therefore develop our attitudes by observing our own behavior and concluding what attitudes must have caused them.
Self-perception theory differs from cognitive dissonance theory in that it does not hold that people experience a "negative drive state" called "dissonance" which they seek to relieve. Instead, people simply infer their attitudes from their own behavior in the same way that an outside observer might. In this way it combines dissonance theory with attribution theory.
Bem ran his own version of Festinger and Carlsmith's famous cognitive dissonance experiment. Subjects listened to a tape of a man enthusiastically describing a tedious peg-turning task. Some subjects were told that the man had been paid $20 for his testimonial and another group was told that he was paid $1. Those in the latter condition thought that the man must have enjoyed the task more than those in the $20 condition. Bem argued that the subjects did not judge the man's attitude in terms of cognitive dissonance phenomena and that therefore any attitude change the man might have had in that situation was the result of the subject's own self-perception.
Also, cognitive dissonance theory cannot explain attitude change that occurs when there is no upsetting dissonance state, such as that which occurred to subjects in studies of the over justification effect.
Whether cognitive dissonance or self-perception is a more useful theory is a topic of considerable controversy and a large body of literature, with no clear winner. There are some circumstances where either theory is preferred, but it is traditional to use the terminology of cognitive dissonance theory by default.
Self-perception theory (SPT) is an account of attitude change developed by psychologist Daryl Bem. It asserts that people develop their attitudes by observing their behavior and concluding what attitudes must have caused them. The theory is counterintuitive in nature, as the conventional wisdom is that attitudes come prior to behaviors. Furthermore, the theory suggests that a person induces attitudes without accessing internal cognition and mood states. The person reasons their own overt behaviors rationally in the same way they attempt to explain others' behaviors.
Original Experiment on Self-perception Theory
In an attempt to decide whether individuals induce their attitudes as observers without accessing their internal states, Bem used interpersonal simulations, in which an "observer-participant" is given a detailed description of one condition of a cognitive dissonance experiment. Subjects listened to a tape of a man enthusiastically describing a tedious peg-turning task. Some subjects were told that the man had been paid $20 for his testimonial and another group was told that he was paid $1. Those in the latter condition thought that the man must have enjoyed the task more than those in the $20 condition. The results obtained were similar to the original Festinger-Carlsmith experiment. Because the observers, who did not have access to the actors' internal cognition and mood states, were able to infer the true attitude of the actors, it is possible that the actors themselves also arrive at their attitudes by looking at their own behavior from an observer's standpoint.
There are numerous studies conducted by psychologists that support the self-perception theory, demonstrating that emotions do follow behaviors. For example, it is found that corresponding emotions (including liking, disliking, happiness, anger, etc.) were reported following from their overt behaviors, which had been manipulated by the experimenters. These behaviors included making different facial expressions, gazes and postures. In the end of the experiment, subjects inferred and reported their affections and attitudes from their practiced behaviors despite the fact that they were told previously to act that way. These findings are consistent with the James-Lange theory of emotion.
Evidence for the self-perception theory has also been seen in real life situations. After teenagers participated in repeated and sustained volunteering services, their attitudes were demonstrated to have shifted to be more caring and considerate towards others.
One useful application of the self-perception theory is in changing attitude, both therapeutically and in terms of persuasion.