ERIC Number: ED199604
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-May
Reference Count: 0
Impression Formation and the Attribution of Attitudes: A "Sleeper" Effect?
Croxton, Jack S.; Miller, Arthur G.
Recent studies indicate that investigators are now focusing on the cognitive determinants of the attribution process; however, few researchers are looking specifically at the attribution process over time. The impact of attitudinal and behavioral information on impression formation was studied to determine how impressions change over time. The attitudinal information given to 80 subjects consisted of a series of statements purportedly made by a target person; the behavioral information consisted of an essay purportedly written by that person. Subjects were told either that the essay position had been freely chosen by the target person or that the essay position had been assigned. The influence of the essay was initially a function of both its content and diagnosticity. Two weeks later, however, the diagnosticity of the behavior exerted little influence. This result was similar to the "sleeper" effect in the area of attitude change. Findings suggest that it may be dangerous to assume that the immediate discounting of a given behavior means that the impression of the actor will remain unchanged, or that the content of the behavior will be ignored. (Author/KMF)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Impression Formation
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association (52nd, St. Louis, MO, May 1-3, 1980). Best copy available.