J. van der Pligt
- Negativity and descriptive extremity in impression formation
- European Journal of Social Psychology
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
With a 2-trait impression task in which all traits denoted risk-related behavior and both evaluative and descriptive ratings were included as dependent variables, it was hypothesized that (1) negative traits receive a higher weight than positive traits in the formation of an overall judgment, (2) negative traits denote more extreme positions on the descriptive continuum than positive traits, and (3) negative traits convey more definite information than positive traits, and therefore inferences based on cognitive traits are made with greater certainty. 47 14-25 yr olds responded to 8 adjective pairs and 30 additional Ss rated each of the single trait descriptions on a 4-point likeability scale. Results indicate a clear effect of evaluative sign on the relative importance of component traits in the formation of evaluative judgments and that the order of presentation is of importance in the formation of an overall impression. Data also show that negativity is related to both! inference certainty and descriptive extremity.
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