Perception Checking: McLean’s Definition, Examples

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Many conflicts arise from wrong conclusions resulting from how people perceive others in a given situation. A simple statement can result in conflict while the original intent was good. As people interact with each other, there are many ways through which perception can lead to conflict. Sometimes, perceptions are influenced by the relationship and the type of communication (Dirican & Erdil, 2020). Sometimes statements are misunderstood because the information was not appropriately decoded.

This readings described the concepts of perception and how it is checked to minimize conflicts. According to McLean, perception checking is the tool used to avoid conflicts in communication by assessing perceptions to make sure that the wrong conclusions are not drawn from a statement (McLean, 2005, p. 11). In customer service, a good example of perception is when a client comes in to file a complaint about defective goods sold to them.

The customer says, “last week, I bought two cartons of yoghurt and found they expired.” The customer service personnel uses perception checking by repeating the customer’s statement while seeking clarification in the following statement “So you are saying the yoghurt you purchased from this shop was past the best-before date? Sorry to hear that, but I can assure you I will check into the matter and offer you other cartons of yoghurt in replacement”. Through these statements, the customer service attendant avoids conflict by ensuring they decode the customer’s message correctly.

A person can recognize their use of perception by looking at the outcome of many conversations. If conflicts mainly arise from their dialogue, it means there is an element of perception at play. Currently, I use perception checking in my group discussions to bring all members on the same page and resolve conflicts. When discussing points, I encourage my group members to understand each statement well before responding. The process can be improved by eliminating emotions and analyzing the statements rather than the person. In conclusion, perception checking is essential in facilitating effective communication and eliminating bias and conflicts. The information learned from our course text can be used to evaluate perceptions and build good relationships.


Dirican, A. H., & Erdil, O. (2020). The influence of ability-based emotional intelligence on discretionary workplace behaviors. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 30(3), 369-382. Web.

McLean, S. (2005). The basics of interpersonal communication. Allyn & Bacon.

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1. PsychologyWriting. "Perception Checking: McLean’s Definition, Examples." July 24, 2022.


PsychologyWriting. "Perception Checking: McLean’s Definition, Examples." July 24, 2022.