ERIC Number: ED236479
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-May
Reference Count: 0
Attributions, Attention, and Person Memory: Processing Congruent and Incongruent Information.
Crocker, Jennifer; Vitkus, John
Impressions of people are resistant to change. Information contradictory to an initial impression has relatively little impact on the impression and is particularly likely to be recalled. Possible resolutions on this paradox include: (1) the recalled information and the impression of the person are independent of each other; (2) people may link incongruent information to information they have that fits their initial impression, and the additional thought given to incongruent items reinforces the initial impression; and (3) people generally attribute behavior which is inconsistent with their impressions to situational causes. To examine more directly the amount of attention given to congruent and incongruent information as a function of causal attribution subjects were given information about the behaviors of a target person which was congruent with their intial impression, except for one item, which was either congruent or incongruent and was attributed to a situational or dispositional cause. The behavioral information was presented on a screen controlled by a microcomputer. Subjects controlled the length of viewing time for each item, and the time was recorded by the computer. Although the correlation between recall and looking time was significant, looking time accounted for less than 4 percent of the variance in recall. The study provides support for all three of the possible resolutions of the paradox of person perception. (WAS)
Descriptors: Attitude Change, Attribution Theory, Interpersonal Relationship, Recall (Psychology), Social Cognition, Time
Jennifer Crocker, Department of Psychology, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60201.
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Northwestern Univ., Evanston, IL.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Person Perception
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association (55th, Chicago, IL, May 5-7, 1983).