Perception management  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Perception management is a term originated by the US military. The US Department of Defense (DOD) gives this definition:

Actions to convey and/or deny selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives, and objective reasoning as well as to intelligence systems and leaders at all levels to influence official estimates, ultimately resulting in foreign behaviors and official actions favorable to the originator's objectives. In various ways, perception management combines truth projection, operations security, cover and deception, and psychological operations.

"Perception" is defined as the "process by which individuals select, organize, and interpret the input from their senses to give meaning and order to the world around them". Components of perception include the perceiver, target of perception, and the situation. Factors that influence the perceiver:

  • Schema: organization and interpretation of information based on past experiences and knowledge
  • Motivational state: needs, values, and desires of a perceiver at the time of perception
  • Mood: emotions of the perceiver at the time of perception

Factors that influence the target:

  • Ambiguity: a lack of clarity. If ambiguity increases, the perceiver may find it harder to form an accurate perception
  • Social status: a person's real or perceived position in society or in an organization
  • Impression management: an attempt to control the perceptions or impressions of others. Targets are likely to use impression management tactics when interacting with perceivers who have power over them. Several impression management tactics include behavioral matching between the target of perception and the perceiver, self-promotion (presenting one's self in a positive light), conforming to situational norms, appreciating others, or being consistent.


See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Perception management" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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