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Sensation and Perception in the Workplace Module from SIOP.

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Presentation on theme: "Sensation and Perception in the Workplace Module from SIOP."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sensation and Perception in the Workplace Module from SIOP

2 Sensation and Perception in the Workplace Sensation involves the processes that occur when receptors in our sensory organs (e.g., eyes, ears, tongue) are activated and send signals to the brain Perception involves the interpretation and organization of those sensations in order to give meaning to sensory information

3 Sensation and Perception in the Workplace In what professions might different senses become important? – Sight – Hearing – Taste and smell How could individual differences in perception make a difference in the workplace? – Speech, depth perception

4 Sensory Abilities Sensory Abilities differ across individuals – Sight can involve things like color discrimination or acute night vision Color discrimination important for graphic designers Night vision for truck drivers, pilots – Hearing abilities include auditory attention (focus on single sound) or hearing sensitivity (differences in pitch or loudness) Attention matters for tool operators (signals usually auditory) Sensitivity for musicians and music-related occupations – Taste and smell (e.g., palate, olfactory discrimination) Food testers, chefs, sommeliers (wine stewards) Perfume developer

5 Perceptual Abilities People perceive things differently – Depth perception is important for pilots, machine operators – Speech perception is important for translators, clergy, speech pathologists People can only attend to so many things – Multi-tasking seems like a good idea until texting and driving

6 Class Discussion If people differ in sensory and perceptual abilities, and if jobs can require different levels of these abilities, what kinds of things can employers do to make sure they have employees who have these abilities? What might be the consequences if the wrong person were hired for jobs requiring sensory or perceptual abilities?

7 For more information… Buffardi, L., Fleishman, E. A., Morath, R. A., & McCarthy, P. M. (2000). Relationships between ability requirements and human errors in job tasks. Journal of Applied Psychology, 85, doi: // Essock, E.A., Sinai, M.J., McCarley, J.S., Krebs, W.K., & DeFord, J.K., (1999). Perceptual ability with real-world nighttime scenes: Image-intensified, infrared, and fused-color imagery. Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 41, doi: / Motowidlo, S.J., Borman, W.C., & Schmit, M.J., (1997). A theory of individual differences in task and contextual performance. Human Performance, 10,


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