Day in and day out people tend to form an interpersonal perception of others. Whether it is consciously or unconsciously every body is guilty of this. Interpersonal perception is the process by which you decide what people are like and give meaning to their actions. An example would be making judgments about personality and drawing inferences from what you observed. There are three stages to interpersonal perception: selecting, organizing, and interpreting what we observe. The first stage, selecting, is when a person directs their attention to a specific characteristic of another person, whether it be smelling them, looking at them, touching them, or hearing them you select just one characteristic. Directing your attention to specific stimuli and consequently ignoring others is called selective perception. The second stage, organizing, is when after we selects certain stimuli, we organize them into convenient, understandable, and efficient patterns that let us make sense of what we have observed. The way people organize information usually depends on the way they punctuate it. Punctuation is the process of making sense out of stimuli by grouping, dividing, organizing, separating, and categorizing information when communicating with others. In addition to punctuating, one also superimposes, or places a familiar structure on information one selects. Another process within the organizing stage of interpersonal perception is closure, this is when one fills in missing information. The third stage of interpersonal perception is interpreting. Interpreting is when one attaches meaning to all that they observe. .
The group which I decided to form an interpersonal perception on was gang members. The reason for me choosing this group is because many people stereotype gang members and always assume the worst when they see someone who resembles a gang member. I wanted to try and prove that stereotype wrong.