Self-Perception Theory




Thisis a theory developed by the renowned psychologist Daryl Bem. It is atheory about an account of the attitude formation. The theory assertthat individuals develop and sustain attitude by a carefulobservation of their characters and making a conclusion on what couldhave been the main cause of attitude. Also, the theory suggests thatindividuals do not use internal cognition in inducing attitude intheir behavior. It is true that attitudes determine the behavior ofpersons and as such the theory on its application iscounterintuitive. The theory also tried to give an account of howpersons will interpret the behavior of others in the same way theywould have a perception of their behavior. The research found thatpeople will behave in the manner that they feel is appropriate tothem. People develop the attitude that guide their relationship withthe general environment. The behavior of people is guided by theself-attitudes, and the individuals will judge the behavior of othersusing the same standards.

LifePractices of Self-Perception

Perceptiondetermines the behavior and characters of all people in the world.Attitude is one of the parameters that will determine the perceptionof individuals in the real life application. At the places of work,the motivation of people to work has been a result of the attitudetoward the basic environmental factors. Take, for instance, if theattitude of the manager toward the junior employees is that they arelazy and can be coerced to work, the supervision strategy is strictand narrow. The cognition factors are developed by the attitudecreated by the perception towards the characteristics. In life, thebehavior of individual towards each other and the relationshipthereto is determined primarily by the attitudes. Furthermore, theway people judge the behavior of others in the world is closelyrelated to the attitude towards the person. During voting and othersituations that require taking sides, it is the perception that willdetermine what way to take. Attitude modifies the behavior and buildscharacters in individuals. The self-perception theory is applicablein quite a great deal (Fazio,1987).

Researchon the concepts in self-perception can help build and understand theongoing issue in social perception. Self-perception is individual’scognizance of the situations and can help in understanding socialperception. Since social perception is the way behaves towardsothers, it is easier to learn how to foster relationships throughhaving a good and healthy interaction. On the other hand, socialinteraction is the way society carries on with its life throughcommunication and relationship with each other. The relationship thatis meant to last can only be sustained if they have a solidfoundation. Since people are dynamic, it would be difficult tounderstand the characteristics of these individuals since people haveself-perception on every issue. Understanding the self-perception andacknowledging its importance can help in sustaining socialinteraction. Self-perception theory is also an important ingredientin social influence. To create influence on people requires thattheir perception toward you be founded on a solid ground. As such,the perception of individuals should be directed toward that course.Leaders are supposed to understand the concept in self-perception andknow that different individuals view them differently and to createinfluence would require that all interest is represented.Self-perception theory is a building block that determines the waysociety is governed and how the relationship is sustained in life(Bem,1967).


Fazio,R. H. (1987). Self-perception theory: A current perspective. InSocialinfluence: the Ontario symposium(Vol. 5, pp. 129-150). Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc Hillsdale,NJ.

Bem,D. J. (1967). Self-perception: An alternative interpretation ofcognitive dissonance phenomena. Psychologicalreview,74(3),183.