Categorization and differentiation : a set, re-set, comparison analysis of the effects of context on person perception

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Leonard L. Martin (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
John J. Seta

Abstract: The prevailing conceptualizations of the impression formation process were discussed in terms of their ability to account for a number of judgmental shifts. The paper suggested that these conceptualizations were incomplete regarding their accounts of assimilation and contrast effects. This incompletion is particularly evident in those cases in which shifts in judgment result from nonsemantic manipulations (e.g., responding technique). A theoretical analysis was proposed which takes into consideration the perseveration/termination of an initial evaluative response, and a perceiver's feature weighting strategies. Two experiments were conducted to test some of the implications of this view. The results of both studies supported the proposed analysis. Specifically, in both studies, impressions of a target shifted toward a prime under conditions in which the primed response was likely to have perseverated, whereas impressions of a target shifted away from the prime under conditions in which the primed response was likely to have been terminated. Further, this pattern of results was observed when the primed response was a broad affective response (Experiment 1) and when it was a more specific descriptive response (Experiment 2). Implications of these results were discussed in terms of a number of social cognition issues.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1983
Social perception
Set (Psychology)
Categorization (Psychology)
Differentiation (Cognition)

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