/ / The mechanism of interpersonal perception. Perception of man by man. Social Perception

The mechanism of interpersonal perception. Perception of man by man. Social Perception

Knowledge of one person by another alwaysaccompanied by an emotional assessment of the partner, an attempt to understand his actions, a forecast of changes in his behavior and modeling his own behavior. Since at least two people participate in this process and each of them is an active subject, everyone must take into account not only the motives and needs of the other, but also his understanding of the motives and needs of the partner in the construction of an interaction strategy. The process of interpersonal perception is also called social perception.

The mechanism of interpersonal perception is a method,through which a person interprets and evaluates another. There are quite a few ways to do this. Today we will consider the basic mechanisms of interpersonal perception: identification, empathy, egocentrism, attraction, reflection, stereotype and causal attribution.

The mechanism of interpersonal perception


The first and basic mechanism of interpersonalPerception is the identification of a person by a person. From the standpoint of social psychology, she confirms the fact that the simplest way to understand a partner is to assimilate yourself to him.

In general, the identification has several shots:

  1. Identification with another individual, based on an emotional connection.
  2. Assimilation of values, roles and moral qualities of another person.
  3. Copying thoughts, feelings or actions of another person.

The most capacious definition of identification soundsin the following way. Identification is the understanding of a partner through his conscious or unconscious identification with himself, an attempt to feel his state, mood and attitude to the world, putting himself in his place.


The second mechanism of interpersonal perception is closely related to the former. Empathy is the emotional aspiration to respond to other people's problems, sympathize with it and empathize with it.

Also, empathy is interpreted as:

  1. Comprehension of the states of another individual.
  2. A mental process aimed at identifying other people's experiences.
  3. An action that helps an individual to build communication in a special way.
  4. The ability to penetrate into the mental state of another person.

The ability to empathy increases in the case ofthe similarity of the interlocutors, as well as the acquisition of an individual's life experience. The higher the empathy, the more colorful a person imagines the influence of the same event on the life of different people, and the more he realizes the existence of different views on life.

An individual prone to empathy can be identified by such signs:

  1. Tolerance to other people's emotions.
  2. Ability to penetrate into the inner world of the interlocutor without revealing his worldview.
  3. Adaptation of one's worldview to the worldview of another person with the aim of achieving mutual understanding.

Interpersonal attraction

Similarity of empathy with identification

The mechanism of empathy has some similarities withmechanism of identification. In both cases, a person has the ability to look at things from the perspective of another person. However, empathy, unlike identification, does not imply the identification of oneself with the interlocutor. Identifying yourself with a partner, a person accepts his behavior pattern and builds a similar one. Showing the same empathy, the individual simply takes into account the line of behavior of the interlocutor, while continuing to build their behavior independently of him.

Empathy is considered one of the most importantprofessional skills of a psychologist, a doctor, a teacher and a leader. Empathetic attention (hearing), according to K. Rogers, is a special relationship to a partner based on the synthesis of identification and empathy. Inclusion in another person, allowing to achieve an open contact - the identification function. This "immersion in the interlocutor" in its pure form has negative consequences - the psychologist "connects" with the difficulties of the client and begins to hurt himself with his problems. Here, the empathic component comes to the rescue - the ability to exclude from the partner's condition. Thus, the totality of such mechanisms as human identification and empathy, allows the psychologist to provide real assistance to clients.

Types of empathy

Empathic experiences can be adequate and inadequate. For example, one person's grief causes sadness, while the other has joy.

In addition, empathy can be:

  1. Emotional. It is based on the mechanism of projection and imitation of the effective and motor reactions of the interlocutor.
  2. Cognitive. It is based on intellectual processes.
  3. Predictive. Expresses a person's ability to predict the reactions of the interlocutor in a given situation.

An important form of empathy is empathy - the experience of one individual feelings, emotions and states that the other experiences. This happens through identification with the interlocutor and sympathy for him.

Identification of man by man


The third mechanism of interpersonal perception, inthe difference from the two previous ones, complicates the knowledge of individuals by each other, and does not make it easier. Egocentrism is the concentration of a person on his personal experiences and interests, which leads to the fact that he loses the ability to understand people with a different worldview.

Egocentrism happens:

  1. Cognitive. It manifests itself in the process of thinking and perception.
  2. Moral. Illustrates the person's inability to understand the causes of behavior of others.
  3. Communicative. Expressed disrespect for the semantic concepts of the interlocutor.

Interpersonal attraction

Attraction is the attraction or attraction of oneman to another, conditioned by mutual interest. In psychology, interpersonal attraction means a friendly relationship between people and an expression of sympathy for each other. The development of attachment of one subject to another arises as a consequence of an emotional relationship, the evaluation of which causes a number of feelings and is expressed as a social attitude toward another person.


Considering the psychological mechanismsinterpersonal perception, we can not fail to mention the reflection. Reflexion refers to a person's awareness of how he is evaluated and perceived by other individuals. That is, this is a person's idea of ​​what kind of opinion he is about the interlocutor. This element of social cognition, on the one hand, means a person's knowledge of the interlocutor through what he thinks about him, and on the other, his self-knowledge through it. Thus, the wider the circle of communication of an individual, the more ideas about how others perceive him, and the more a person knows about himself and others.

Mechanisms of social perception


This is a very important and quite capacious mechanisminterpersonal perception. A stereotype in the context of interpersonal attraction is the process of forming an opinion about a person, based on personal prejudices (stereotypes).

In 1922, to denote representations,associated with inaccuracy and lies, V. Limpan introduced the term "social stereotype". As a rule, the formation of stable samples of a social object, occurs imperceptibly even for the individual himself.

There is an opinion that it is because of the weakmeaning stereotypes firmly entrenched in the form of stable standards and gained power over people. A stereotype arises in conditions of lack of information or is the fruit of generalization of one's own experience. To the experience is often added information obtained from the cinema, literature and other sources.

Thanks to the stereotype, a person can quickly and, likerule, reliably, simplify the social environment, formalize it in certain standards and categories, make it more understandable and predictable. Cognitive basis of stereotyping is formed by such processes as restriction, selection, and categorization of a large stream of social information. As for the motivational basis of this mechanism, it is formed by the processes of evaluative popularization in favor of one or another group that give a person a sense of belonging and security.

Functions of the stereotype:

  1. Selection of information.
  2. Formation and support of a positive image of "I".
  3. Creation and support of group ideology of the justifying and explaining behavior of the group.
  4. Formation and support of the positive image of "We".

Thus, stereotypes are regulatorssocial relations. Their main attributes are: economy of thinking, justification of one's own behavior, satisfaction of aggressive tendencies, stability and output of group tension.

The effect of interpersonal perception

Classification of stereotypes

There are several stereotypes occurring at once. According to V. Panferov's classification, stereotypes are: social, anthropological, and ethnonational.

Let's take a closer look at A.Rean's classification, according to which stereotypes can be:

  1. Anthropological. Appear in the case when the evaluation of the psychological qualities of a person and his personality depends on the characteristics of the appearance, that is, anthropological signs.
  2. Ethnonational. Relevant in the case when a person's psychological assessment is affected by his or her belonging to a particular ethnic group, race or nation.
  3. Socially-status. There is a place to be if the evaluation of personal qualities of the individual occurs depending on its social status.
  4. Socially-role. In this case, the evaluation of the personality is subordinated to the social role and role functions of the individual.
  5. Expressive-aesthetic. Psychological evaluation of personality is mediated by the external attractiveness of a person.
  6. Verbal-behavioral. Criterion for assessing personality is its external features: facial expressions, pantomime, language and other.

There are other classifications.In them, in addition to the previous ones, such stereotypes are considered: professional (generalized image of a representative of a particular profession), physiognomic (personality features), ethnic and other.

The most studied are the nationalstereotypes. They illustrate the relationship of people to one or another ethnic group. Such stereotypes often serve as a part of the mentality of the nation and its self-awareness, and also have a clear connection with the national character.

Возникающая в условиях недостатка информации stereotyping, as a mechanism of interpersonal perception, can fulfill a conservative and even reactionary role, forming in people a misconception about others and deforming the processes of interpersonal interaction and mutual understanding. Therefore, it is necessary to determine the truth or error of social stereotypes purely on the basis of an analysis of specific situations.

Causal attribution

Considering the mechanisms of social perception, notIt is worthwhile to ignore such a fascinating phenomenon as causal attribution. Not knowing or not understanding the true motives of the behavior of another individual, people, being in the conditions of a lack of information, can attribute to him inaccurate causes of behavior. In social psychology, this phenomenon is called "causal attribution."

Considering how people interpret behaviorothers, scientists have discovered the so-called fundamental attribution error. It is due to the fact that people overestimate the value of the personality traits of others, and underestimate the impact of the situation. Other researchers have discovered the phenomenon of “egocentric attribution”. It is based on the property of people to ascribe success to themselves and failures to other people.

The process of human perception of man

G. Kelly identified three types of attribution:

  1. Personal. The reason is attributed to the one who committed the deed.
  2. Objective. The reason is attributed to the object on which the action is directed.
  3. Attribution related to the circumstances. The reason for what is happening is attributed to the circumstances.

The observer usually resorts to personal attribution, and the participant, as a rule, blames everything on circumstances. This feature is clearly visible in attributing successes and failures.

An important issue in the consideration of causalattribution is the question of installation, accompanying the process of human perception of man by man, especially in forming the impression of an unknown person. This was revealed by A. Bodylov with the help of experiments in which different groups of people were shown a photo of the same person, accompanying him with characteristics like "writer", "hero", "criminal" and so on. When the installation was triggered, the verbal portraits of the same person were different. It was revealed that there are people who cannot be stereotyped. They are called selectively stereotypical. Having considered the mechanisms of social perception, now let's talk briefly about its effects.

Effects of interpersonal perception

The effect of interpersonal perception is always formed on the basis of stereotypes.

In total there are three effects:

  1. Halo effect.It is expressed when one person exaggerates the homogeneity of another person, transferring the impression (favorable or not) of one quality to all other qualities. During the formation of the first impression, the halo effect appears when a general positive impression about a person leads to a positive assessment of all his qualities, and vice versa.
  2. The effect of primacy. Manifested in the evaluation of a stranger. The role of the installation in this case is played by the information that was previously presented.
  3. The effect of novelty. This effect of interpersonal perception acts in the evaluation of a familiar person, when the latest information about him becomes the most significant.

Formation of ideas about the interlocutor is alwaysIt begins with the evaluation and perception of his physical appearance, appearance and behavior. In the future, this information forms the basis of the perception and understanding of this person. It may depend on a number of factors: individual characteristics of a person, his level of culture, his social experience, aesthetic preferences, and so on. An important issue is also the age characteristics of the person who perceives.

Psychological mechanisms of interpersonal perception

For example, a child who has just started going tokindergarten, in communicating with people based on the primary ideas about them, which he formed when communicating with parents. Depending on how the child had a relationship before, he shows irritability, mistrust, obedience, pliability, or stubbornness.


Summarizing the above, it is worth noting thatmechanisms of interpersonal perception include ways of interpreting and evaluating one person to another. The main ones are: identification, empathy, self-centeredness, attraction, reflection, stereotype, and causal attribution. Different mechanisms and types of interpersonal perception, as a rule, work in tandem, complementing each other.