Selective perception

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Selective perception
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Selective perception - this is a tendency not to weigh down and react quickly to things that may have caused discomfort to the individual at an earlier stage. For example, when we notice that one of the torturers makes inappropriate movements in the direction of the injured person. However, by feeling that it states that it is only in its direction, and that it never hurts us, we refry from taking any action. This process boils down to, among other things, the ignoring of other points of view by specific individuals. The lack of possibility of emotional empathy in the alternative course of reasoning makes them perceive reality in zero one way. As a result, they are unable to look critically at certain behaviours, to draw conclusions, because very often they are guided only by their beliefs.

Psychological approach

Selective perception refers to cognitive science. It is the Unseen that the individual perception of the individual's specific moral situations is studied. The classic psychological modeling of this phenomenon is the hostile media effect. It specifically concerns a football match between football players, where supporters of specific teams were presented with the most aggressive clashes. A supporter of a particular team was able to attribute much more broken rules to their opponents than they actually did to them [1].

The above experiment confirmed, that people have a tendency to sympathise with specific phenomena, which are convenient for them. Very often they demonise or underestimate other possible concepts, as it is more convenient for them to accept something they already know from the truth. Thus, they are able to loose a lot of valuable information or limit their way of seeing [2].

Selective perception in business

Similarly, a given phenomenon occurs in business. While it is not yet so dangerous in everyday life, it can have a negative impact on the running of a business. This is due to the fact that by limiting his perception, a trader can:

  • not to enter into a profitable business with other entrepreneurs;
  • with its attitude to discourage another entrepreneur from concluding a business;
  • not to see a potential opportunity that could be profitable.

It is therefore possible to counteract these phenomena by building an attitude of openness to otherness and diversity. This allows us to expand our markets, understand other cultures and implement new products and services. This behaviour at a later stage equals an increased return on sales.

Bearing the above in mind, it is always necessary to put aside all personal and individual beliefs with a business approach and think purely analytically. Thanks to the distribution of a given enterprise into the first factors (not in the context of beliefs but objective premises), the entrepreneur is able to obtain many valuable business contacts and conclude profitable business contracts. Such action should reduce selective perception in the daily life of a company [3].



  1. Ashby Plant E., Kunstman J. G. and J. W., (2011) p. 2-10
  2. Sulflow M., Schafer S., Winter S., (2018) p. 169-190
  3. Starcke K., Brand K., (2012) p. 1228-1248

Author: Martyna Barłóg