TOPIC: Perception of a person by a person (perceptual side of communication).

The perceptual side of communication.

The concept of social perception was first used by J. Bruner (1947). Social perception is the perception of so-called social objects (individuals, social groups and large social communities).

Perception of a person by a person (interpersonal perception) in social psychology as a kind of social perception. But the concept of “social perception” is broader, it includes the perception of a person by a person.

Perception of a person by a person – the perception of external signs of a partner, their correlation with the personal, psychological characteristics of the perceived individual and the interpretation on this basis of his actions and achievements (Andreeva).

Perception of a person by a person is a direct visual-figurative reflection by one person of another, as a result of which a perceptual image is formed – a signal about the external features of the other and, in general, about his behavior, which performs an informative and regulatory function in the process of communication.

When studying the perception of a person by a person, the content and mechanisms of interpersonal perception are studied, here the characteristics of the object and subject of perception are studied.

Man as an object of perception.

In the process of communication, each person is an object of perception for a communication partner. A person acts as a kind of stimulus, as a special kind of source of information. The image of the other is a carrier of 3 types of information:

1) physical appearance;

2) expressive and expressive movements;

3) appearance design.

1. Physical appearance – elements of appearance due to heredity:

* body type;

* growth;

* national signs (hair color, eye shape).

They determine nationality, gender, psychological characteristics

2. Expressive movements:

* gestures;

* facial expressions;

* posture;

* gait.

Main types of gestures :

1. Arbitrary – conscious.

2. Involuntary – unconscious.

3. Communicative – replacing words (signs of greeting, farewell, consent) – they are conscious and arbitrary.

4. Modal – reflect the emotional state of a person that he would like to hide from a partner (they are unconscious and involuntary).

Gestures talk about:

attitude to the conversation (topic of conversation);

relation to the partner;

· emotional state;

stable psychological characteristics of a person (personality properties): extraversion, introversion, dominance, isolation, etc.;

human intentions (aggressiveness, sexuality).

Frequency of using gestures (also carries information):

v An increase in frequency is associated with an emotional state ==> more often a person gesticulates with “+” emotions, with anxiety, uncertainty, excitement.

v An increase in the frequency of gestures – in people with a low social status (those with a high social status gesticulate less often).

v Associated with the level of speech development – gesticulation is less common in persons with good speech development.

v National characteristics of a person (Finns – 1 gesture per hour, Italians – 80 per hour, French – 120 per hour, Mexicans – 180 per hour)

The accuracy of the interpretation of gestures (because the gesture is ambiguous):

§ Depends on the context (situation). Example: weak grip ==> weak temper or arthritis (joint disease)!

§ Depends on the nationality of the person.

Sign language (as well as verbal language) is different in different cultures.

Example: A nod of the head (from top to bottom) among Bulgarians, Hindus, Turks means disagreement, denial; we Russians, on the contrary, have consent, approval.

It is necessary to be able to read and use gestures and learn to do without them.

The pose has the same content as the gesture.

Facial expressions are a subtle indicator of a person’s emotional state. Facial expressions can be voluntary and involuntary (the latter is the most informative).

Involuntary expressions include, first of all, redness or blanching of the skin of the face, sweating, especially with fear, eyes shining, etc. These sudden manifestations of experiences are uncontrollable.

Other involuntary movements, such as clenching of the teeth or frown, smiling or sad facial expressions, can be controlled and suppressed or voluntarily evoked.

If expressive movements of the same kind are systematically repeated, then they form a stable “mask” of a person, by which one can determine a good, evil, gloomy, cheerful person.

In communication, people use not only articulate speech, but also the language of emotions. Moreover, not only when they are experiencing, but also when they want to inform others about their experiences or to mask their real thoughts and states.

Reading emotions in expressive movements is of great importance. It helps to get to know and understand a person more deeply, his real attitude to the event and thus to take adequate measures: sympathy, help, condemnation, etc.

However, due to the fact that expressive movements can be controlled, i. does not correspond to the actual experience of a person, errors in the diagnosis of emotions are possible.

Example: a person experiencing fear shows outward calmness and even smiles.

A real understanding of human emotions is possible only when many factors are taken into account, and, in particular, the specific situation of communication and the prevailing character of the individual.

For an adequate perception of the emotions of another person, knowledge of the situation, the incident is important.

Of great importance is the knowledge of the personality, the features of its character. Some people do not feel as deeply as they reflect it outwardly, while others, when deeply experienced, are stingy with external reflections, because are able to control themselves.

The ability to read the language of expressive movements is influenced by observation + personal qualities of a person. If the perceiver himself is emotional, then he can easily understand the emotional state of another and empathize with him ==> this indicates a high degree of empathy .

A person’s ability to understand the emotions of others is also affected by:

§ gender and age characteristics;

§ personal characteristics;

§ professional features;

§ A person’s belonging to a particular culture.

A number of professions require a person to be able to manage their emotions and adequately determine the expressive movements of the people around them.

Example: professions of a doctor, teacher, psychologist, coach, investigator, manager, etc.

Walking features:

1. Speed (associated with the type of temperament).

2. Rhythm (may reflect the general and emotional state).

3. Step width (character traits; purposefulness, dominance).

The gait contains the following information: age, gender, state of health, professional affiliation of a person (Example: sailor, ballerina) , stable psychological qualities (type of temperament, etc.).

3. Appearance design:

* clothes;

* decorations;

* makeup, hairstyle, beard, mustache, etc.

The design of the appearance indicates how a person wants to look in the eyes of others, what impression he wants to make, and is associated with self-esteem, the level of claims and the aesthetic development of the individual.

From a psychological point of view, this is what allows a person to impress a partner. Excessive attention to the design of appearance is a sign of neurosis: the compensation mechanism works (I am the first here!).


Clothes are the image of the role envisaged for oneself. Thus, the overall goal is to increase the value and significance of a person (raise yourself in the eyes of others – the purpose of clothing).

Clothes says:

§ about nationality;

§ about the profession;

§ about age;

§ about the field;

§ on the level of material security;

§ on the level of aesthetic development;

§ about the personal properties of a person.

Style of clothes.

Luscher: general style (direction) and its psychological interpretation:

1. traditional;

2. fashionable;

3. extravagant;

4. classic;

5. original;

6. varied;

7. conservative;

8. exclusive;

9. sexy (irritating).

Style Feature:

1. A tribute to tradition, a professional uniform, traditional national clothes speak of belonging to a group, membership in which a person is proud and advertises it through clothing.

2. A person strives to be modern, afraid to lag behind fashion ==> conformism.

3. Unusual, pretentious ==> a person makes a shocking impression (deep neckline, bright color, unconventional style). High level of ambition, vanity, ambition. This is a thirst for recognition (or a conscious or unconscious feeling of infringement in recognition, a sense of one’s own insignificance, non-recognition gives rise to excessive claims to significance).

4. The style is the opposite of pretentious – simple, modest (simplicity of cut, in colors, calm soft tones). This is how people dress who want to look authoritative and apply for a prestigious position, confident that they are worthy of respect (high self-esteem). It is a coherent but implicit claim to significance.

5. The clothes are tailor-made. Striving for originality.

6. If he likes to change clothes – often this is an inner emptiness, but such a person wants to give the impression of originality, does not tolerate monotony in life.

7. Exceptional, one of a kind, refined indicates a delicate taste, an aesthetic need, but this is an excessively high level of pretension, a means of compensating for dissatisfaction in the sexual sphere.

8. Erogenous zones are covered (tight jeans, tight sweater, cutouts, cuts). Bright colors, flashy. Slits in the fabric, its transparency. Direct contact is replaced by visual, optical. The sphere of interests is concentrated in the sexual area ==> compensation for this need.

But not only the general style of clothing, but also the color of clothing preferred by a person can say a lot about its owner:

Warm tones (red, orange, yellow) – domineering, emotional, energetic people prefer.

Cold tones (green, blue, blue) – prefer cold-blooded, emotionally restrained natures.


The use of jewelry is based on four main motives (needs):

● aesthetic need (desire to be beautiful);

● need for significance (prestige);

● the need for protection, security, peace, stability;

● sexual need.

Who doesn’t use jewelry? – The basis of rejection is the level of self-esteem, high self-esteem (“I can like you anyway”), low self-esteem (“No attempt will help”) ==> or overestimated or underestimated self-esteem).

In this case, the type of jewelry and the place that is decorated matters. Embellishment shows strengths.

Example: beautiful neck – necklace; thin wrist – bracelet; signet – the need for high social significance, etc.

Jewelry quality.

Small and inexpensive, well-made ==> the need for protection, love.

Dear ones ==> the need for prestige and significance ==> high level of claims, social status (nothing else to win).

Aesthetic, with a delicate taste ==> the need for beauty.

Sexy – makeup, tattoos, metal rivets, glitter, tinsel.

Thus, in the real process of communication, we pay attention not only to the external, physical appearance of the partner, his expressive manifestations, but also to the design of the appearance, as a result, a certain impression is formed about the person, his personal qualities, but this impression and representation does not always correspond to reality. .

What determines the accuracy of perception of a person by a person.


1. Social experience.

2. Age (we pay attention to different characteristics: the younger, the more attention to appearance; teenager – anatomical features (height, physique); adult – expressive manifestations: gestures, postures.

3. Gender (women evaluate their partner more accurately).

4. Emotional state. Example: bad mood – the other person seems worse.

5. Intelligence: the higher it is, the more accurate the perception of the partner.

6. Emotional personality traits (anxious and sensitive ones quite accurately assess the partner, because they are distinguished by subtle sensitivity to the elements of expressive behavior.

7. Tendency to reflection (who takes care of himself), knows the interlocutor better.

8. Attitude towards a partner sympathy ==> more on dignity).

Basic mechanisms of interpersonal perception.

The question of the mechanisms of perception of a person by a person is a question of HOW people use gradually incoming information to form an idea about another person (about his qualities, properties and reasons for his behavior and achievements).

In everyday life, a person often does not know the true personality traits of a partner, the reasons for his behavior, or knows them insufficiently. In conditions of real communication, people begin to attribute ( attribute ) to each other both the causes of behavior and some more general characteristics. There is a whole system of methods of such attribution ( attribution ), which are studied by a special branch of social psychology.

Attribution (from the Latin “I endow, attach, attribute”). This is the attribution of personal qualities and reasons for the behavior, actions of a communication partner. Causal (from the Latin causa “cause”) attribution is the need and ability of a person to understand and predict causal relationships, interpret the causes, motives of behavior. Understanding motivation means making it possible to predict behavior, which is especially important in the field of interpersonal relationships.

Understanding the causes (motives) of behavior is a very complex process. Many psychologists of the world have been studying it ==> there is no single theory of attribution.

Typical mistakes of the attributive process.

1. Fundamental attribution error – the dependence of attribution on the position of the observer. When explaining someone else’s behavior, a person uses personal causality, while explaining his behavior – situational causal attribution. This is the error.

Ross, a Western psychologist, introduced this concept.

Reasons for the error:

1) The need to understand and predict the behavior of others. Human behavior becomes more understandable if the behavior is explained by personal causality.

2) Distribution of attention. The reason for the behavior is the object of attention. For the observer, the object of attention is the person, for the actor, the situation.

2. Egocentric attribution (projective).

We proceed from our own motives and attribute them to another person.

Reason: a person’s desire to prefer the society of people whose beliefs and behavior are similar to his own (these people are more understandable). By analogy with himself, his own qualities and emotional states are attributed to another person: “All people are like me” or “Others are opposite to me.”

Example: a kind, sympathetic person perceives others through rose-colored glasses ==> may be mistaken.

3. Protective attribution.

It manifests itself in explaining the reasons for achievements in significant activities or success. Attribution in this case performs the function of protecting and maintaining self-esteem.

When explaining our own achievements in case of success, high results, we resort to personal attribution, in case of failures – to situational attribution. When explaining other people’s results, it is the other way around: we look for the reasons for failures in the individual, and attribute successes to luck.

4. Counter-defensive attribution – in terms of publicity, one’s own successes are attributed to chance, and failures are attributed to one’s abilities (their absence); other people’s results are interpreted in the opposite way.

5. Effect of primacy.

It manifests itself in the fact that the initial information is more significant for the formation of an idea about another person than the last one *. When perceiving unfamiliar and unfamiliar, this effect is triggered.

* Persistence and stability of the first impression of a person, which leaves an imprint on the perception of all other signs, acting as a kind of filter; those qualities that do not correspond to the initial impression are eliminated, those qualities that do not correspond to the initial impression are not perceived.

Example: if the general impression of a person is favorable, then his positive features are overestimated, and shortcomings are either not noticed or justified.

6. “Halo effect”, (“Halo effect”).

The information received before acquaintance determines the initial attitude towards a person.

The halo effect is explained through the formation of a specific attitude towards the perceived (“excellent student”, “scoundrel”), and the directed attribution of certain qualities to it on the basis of this attitude. Thus, the information received about a person is categorized into the image that has already been set in advance. This image, which previously existed, plays the role of a “halo” that prevents one from seeing the real features and manifestations of the object of perception (Andreev).

The primacy effect and the halo effect in a broader sense can be considered as a manifestation of a special process of perception of a person by a person – stereotyping. Thus, one of the possible reasons for the occurrence of misconceptions and a decrease in the accuracy of the perception of a person by a person is stereotyping (stereotyping can be considered as a particular version of attribution and as an independent mechanism for perceiving a person by a person).


Stereotyping is the attribution of a set of qualities to a cognizable personality on the basis of assigning it to a certain class, it is the use of stereotypes in the perception of a person by a person.

Stereotypes are a generalized and stable image of a whole class of people based on public or personal experience.

In the process of perceiving a person by a person, a kind of “personification of a stereotype” occurs: a stereotype exists and functions as a generalized (schematized and simplified) image of a single representative of a given class.

The main types of stereotypes (2 groups):

1. Social stereotypes that characterize people as members of certain social groups.

Varieties: national, age, ethnic, role-playing, gender, status, professional and other stereotypes.

2. Evaluative stereotypes that characterize people based on the analysis of their appearance:

§ Anthropological (on this basis, they attribute to him their stereotypical ideas about this category of people).

Example: Neat formal suit → teacher → smart, honest, demanding, fair.

§ Emotional-aesthetic (beautiful – ugly). Based on the assessment of appearance, its compliance with the standards of beauty and expression of appearance).

§ Emotionally-integrative – the personality as a whole is assessed.

§ Emotional-analytical – a separate element of appearance (smile) is evaluated.

The bottom line: Outwardly attractive people are credited with more positive qualities and vice versa.

Example: Emotionally-integrative type relies on an assessment of the appearance as a whole (Terrible – neither mind nor heart – an alcoholic is even worse); emotional-analytical connects with the assessment of lips, eyes, hairstyles, etc. (intelligent focused look ==> strict, attentive, stubborn, hardworking person).

The main characteristics of stereotypes.

All stereotypes are characterized by high stability – rigidity.

The stereotype continues to operate even when its inconsistency has been proven.

Example: all officials are bribe-takers. Ivanov is an official, he does not take bribes ==> they give little.

The role and significance of stereotyping in the perception of a person by a person.

· Stereotyping ==> simplification of the process of cognition of another person, the accuracy of the image of another is reduced, replacing it with a ready-made stamp.

Stereotyping can have an impact on the attitude towards a communication partner: the discrepancy between the cognized object (its behavior, appearance, personal qualities) to the content of the used stereotype causes unpleasant emotional experiences in the subject of cognition, irritation (by the mechanism of cognitive dissonance), which is transferred to the attitude to the cognizable object, causing hostility, antipathy ( a janitor, but dressed up like an actress … an academician, allows herself an outright lie …).

However, the use of stereotypes cannot be avoided. It is a perceptual mechanism that facilitates the understanding of people in conditions of communication deficit. Stereotypes should be treated as a hypothesis that needs to be tested (Lippman).

Example: He is probably a crook.

Thus, as a result of the perception of a person by a person, a more or less accurate idea of u200bu200ba partner is formed, which determines the emergence of a certain emotional attitude towards him (like, cute, etc.), for which a special term is used in social psychology – attraction .

Interpersonal attraction as a product of social perception and its emotional regulator.

Attraction (translated from English as “attraction, attraction”) is used in psychology to denote a positive emotional attitude towards a communication partner: from sympathy to love.

Meaning: The end product of interpersonal perception (likeable or not).

A factor influencing the accuracy of perception (filter in evaluation: we value more highly those who are sympathetic to us): people involved in emotional relationships rate each other more highly than strangers or even close acquaintances, but not mutually sympathetic individuals. A high level of attraction between partners contributes to greater accuracy of interpersonal perception.

Emotional regulator of interpersonal relationships (positive – deepen, negative – break ==> increase in the number of altruistic actions: we often come to the aid of those to whom we are attracted).

Factors affecting the occurrence of attraction:

1. Properties of the object of attraction (who more often causes sympathy).

2. Properties of the subject (who is easier to please).

3. Relationship between properties 1 and 2.

4. The nature of the interaction between the object and the subject.

Sympathy as a reaction to the properties of an object

External data, behavioral patterns, socio-psychological characteristics are traditionally considered the main reason for sympathy or antipathy for a person from other people.

What qualities do you need to have to be liked?

ü Appearance (physical attractiveness – “beauty”)

a) satisfies the aesthetic needs of the partner;

b) determines a high level of communication: sociable people are more likely to like them;

c) produces the effect of “irradiation of beauty”: a beautiful partner, as it were, allows you to increase the level of your own physical attractiveness;

d) causes the action of emotional-integrative stereotypes that connect appearance with character traits: beautiful means good. Example: Judges give a harsher sentence if the offense was committed by an ugly person.

As communication partners, they are not chosen by their appearance, the choice of a partner is determined by the forecast of future relationships: if you are sure – beautiful, if you are not sure – equal to yourself.

Appearance, as a factor that determines attraction, is relevant only at the stage of acquaintance, and when communicating with strangers and unfamiliar people, in close people we appreciate other, deeper, psychological qualities.

ü Socio-psychological characteristics affect the attraction:

a) social status;

b) level of education;

c) degree of competence;

d) the level of development of intelligence.

Attraction is positively correlated with the merits of the object. But this rule has serious limitations: too much positive characteristics in a person reduces the attraction to him. Reason = low attraction:

1) The maximum expression of a person’s positive qualities can be associated with negative personality traits (arrogance, arrogance) ==> low attraction.

2) Extraordinary expressiveness of positive characteristics (too high competence, prestigious profession, high status, etc.) can contribute to a decrease in the partner’s self-esteem, an increase in his anxiety ==> the desire to avoid communication with a “highly competent” – in order to maintain one’s own self-esteem – = => dislike for him.

ü Behavior (important when creating the first impression of yourself): tact, politeness, etc.

None of the characteristics of the object defines the attraction unambiguously, because the connection between the properties of the object and the attraction is mediated by the characteristics of the subject.

Properties of the subject of attraction.

Ø Self-esteem: a person with low self-esteem is more difficult to please, because he does not love himself.

Ø “Love your neighbor as yourself”, “It is in relation to yourself that the art of love is honed” ==> high self-esteem makes a person more sensitive (i.e. sensitive) to the merits of others and more tolerant of shortcomings.

Ø Intelligence: high intelligence ==> to excessive rationalization of communication and its carrier is not capable of establishing strong and deep emotional relationships.

Ø Emotional state: any increase in mood ==> to high attraction (makes a person more friendly and indulgent towards others).

The relationship between the properties of the object and the subject of attraction (does similarity or difference affect attraction?).

The general principle is similarity, because these people are more pleasant to us, their behavior is predictable.

Similarities in the system of life values, social status, level of education (socio-demographic characteristics). But not always similarity ==> attraction, sometimes, on the contrary, the difference between partners becomes the basis of attraction.

The question of similarity and difference is also determined by the content of the compared qualities, for “we admire our virtues in others and do not love them if we find our own shortcomings in them.”

In real communication, the preference for “similar partners” is associated with the desire to ensure psychological safety and comfort for oneself, in a situation of confidence in a positive assessment from others, in a situation of psychological safety, the validity of the principle of similarity decreases, the tendency to communicate with dissimilar people increases (both according to socio-demographic and psychological characteristics).

The nature of the interaction between the subject and the object of attraction.

cooperation ==> high attraction

competition ==> low attraction

Attraction arises in response to positive actions (favor, appreciation, care, etc.): there is a transfer of a positive attitude towards reinforcement (action) to its source (person). At the same time, it is important what motives are attributed to the subject of reinforcement when it is perceived as manipulative (flattery, bribe) ==> low attraction, and, on the contrary, hostility may arise.

Help or other reinforcement causes attraction not only from the object of reinforcement to its subject, but also vice versa: from the subject to the object (“We love people for the good that we do for them, and we hate them for the evil that we inflict on them.” Reason: preservation of self-esteem, because to admit that you have done evil means to underestimate self-esteem, it will be easier to underestimate the attraction: he is bad, that’s why I did it).

Bottom line: attraction facilitates contact, interaction, increases satisfaction with communication, so a person often consciously strives to make a good impression by working on his own image.

Image as a determinant of interpersonal attraction.

Image is the visually attractive appearance of a person. This is a form of self-presentation that allows you to demonstrate your strongest personal and business qualities and hide your weak ones. This is a kind of MASK that allows you to make the desired impression on others.

Imagelogy is a specific area of science and art associated with the creation of an attractive image. Image makers are specialists in this field. Many politicians, actors, TV presenters, etc. resort to their services.

The higher the level of a person’s claims, the more actively she interacts with other people, the more she depends on them and the less self-confident, the more she is concerned about her image.

Image technique.

The main recommendations are determined by the general patterns of attraction occurrence (see above).

Appearance. This is where you should start (clothing, make-up, exercise, etc.).


“To be daily charming and noblely restrained”, this requires the will and ability for self-realization.

Important components of behavior are facial expressions, gestures and speech. “Speech paves the way to the podium.”

In general, the manner of behavior should meet the desires of the partner (“Do not burn the bridges of communication”).

Personal and business qualities.

3 pillars on which the Image rests are good breeding, erudition, professionalism.

Self-presentation is the ability to demonstrate one’s properties in behavior, one can have all the necessary qualities, but at the same time, timidity and shyness prevent them from showing them.

Thus, “It is important not only to be, but also to seem”.

Empathic Behavior Technique

(The ability to please another person).


1. Do not build empathic barriers:

threats (fear, resentment);

Orders (humiliation of one’s own dignity);

· negative criticism;

insulting nicknames;

the words “debtors” (“you must”);

concealment of important information;

trap remarks (“You are a smart person, you understand that …”);

praise with a catch (“I always admire your complaisance”);

untimely advice;

change of topic of conversation.

2. Use sympathy catalysts:

the rule of anticipatory benevolence;

sincere interest in people (speaks of what worries the interlocutor);

smile more often

name, patronymic, which will increase his self-esteem;

be able to listen carefully (sometimes silently);

· be able to show your partner superiority over yourself: you cannot show that you are smarter;

Treat the person with respect

ask for advice

Make compliments

Seek in communication what brings you closer to the interlocutor.

Basic techniques and rules of criticism:

1. Start with praise and sincere recognition of the person’s virtues.

2. First, talk about your own shortcomings, and then about your partner’s mistakes.

3. Point out errors not directly, but indirectly.

4. Criticize only actions and deeds, not a person.

5. Hide criticism between 2 compliments (“Sandwich Technique”).

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