informational conditions of stereotyping and individuating impression formation Source: A Dictionary of Sociology Author(s): John Scott, Gordon Marshall. first impressions ) Mental summaries based on repeated observations others' behaviors ( abstractions , increases as you gain experience with person ) Primacy of warmth versus competence: A motivated As in Conditions 1 and 2, intelligent was rated as the most important trait in all conditions that included this trait (ranked highest by 53.5%–60.4% of participants), whereas warm and cold were not central in any condition that included one of these traits (ranked highest by 6.6%–7.8% of participants). Third, we randomly assigned participants to one of seven conditions to aid comparability of the studies (Asch ran the conditions in three separate studies). Before discussing the latter point, we first provide a short overview of Asch’s main findings. IMPRESSION FORMATION : When one person meets another for the first time, it is the first opportunity either person will have to make initial evaluations and judgments about the other. Asch’s data (1946) suggest that, in the context of certain traits, warmth may not always be primary over competence. Consequently, the interpretation of these data was heavily contested by his contemporaries (e.g., Gollin, 1954; Luchins, 1948). Contrary to the predictions based on a primacy-of-warmth approach, participants were as likely to mention intelligence in their description of the target person as they were to mention warmth. The present research aims to critically examine the evidence that Asch’s (1946) research provides for the primacy-of-warmth effect. Participants were not more likely to mention warmth in their descriptions of the target person than to mention intelligence; the traits they discussed in their descriptions were at least as strongly related to competence as they were to warmth; and a large part of participants did not make any references to warmth whatsoever. Positive warmth-indices appear for traits that are more strongly related to warmth than to competence. dimensions, Forming impressions of personality: Two As expected, descriptions were more positive for warm, M (Condition 1) = 3.24, than for cold, M (Condition 2) = 1.77, F(1, 288) = 31.54, p < .001. η p 2 = .10. Determining “[c]ertain qualities are preponderantly assigned to the ‘warm’ person, while the opposing qualities are equally prominent in the ‘cold’ person,” (p. 264), Asch places “restrained” and “important” in the category of traits unaffected by his manipulation. Asch, 1946). Preferential Although Asch acknowledges that warmth plays an important role in impression formation, in his view, any trait can be central as well as peripheral. Pratto, F., & John, O. P. (1991). Then, all traits were repeated once (cf. In our view, this study does not provide unequivocal evidence for primacy-of-warmth, as is apparent from the three measures Asch used in his research (the open-ended, trait-pair choice, and ranking measures). We report all data Our replication attempt was highly similar to Asch’s original work, but there are several methodological differences. personality”, Morality and competence in person- and From this study, Asch concluded that participants treated warm and cold as relatively central in forming impressions, transforming their impressions when warm was replaced by cold. warm-cold variable in impressions of persons, Compensation between warmth and competence: Another part of impression-formation is primacy-recency, the tendency for first and last impressions to be the strongest. Though they expressed genuine interest in the tasks, the subjects were not aware of the nature of the problem until it wa… Importantly, the centrality of warm and cold in Conditions 1 and 2 was even more absent in Conditions 3, 4, and 5, in accordance with Asch’s hypothesis (1946) that the centrality of warmth is context-dependent. Social psychological laboratories have undergone considerable change since the publication of Asch’s “Forming Impressions of Personality” in 1946, leading to the inevitable demise of punch cards and slide carousels in favor of more advanced experimental equipment. These participants were excluded from this analysis. He was interested in how we judge others and their personality based off small bits of information. Antecedents and consequences of a negative relation between the two fundamental The results suggest that changing a trait from positive (e.g., warm) to negative (e.g., cold) made the overall impression more negative (negative traits of the pairs were chosen more frequently). person types together, The Impression formation may be affected by (a) a person’s objective stimulus characteristics (b) the nature of stimuli and the context in which they are presented (c) perceiver variables (d) social interaction (Fidzani, 2002). 1.1 Twofold conceptualizations of content in social psychology. The Chi-Square Tests for Independence generally support Asch’s qualitative claims, upholding his conclusion that character traits affect impression formation differentially. What are these conditions? Asch’s qualitative methods led him to commit a Type II error, failing to recognize a difference between conditions when one existed. processing of communal information, Agency and communion from the perspective of self versus Concurring with Condition 1, the results for the cold-list do not provide clear evidence for a primacy-of-warmth effect. experiments, Trait inferences, impression formation, and person memory: Based on these experiments, Asch (1946) concluded that perceivers form coherent, unitary impressions of others. Social Psychology (2014), 45, pp. Contrary to primacy-of-warmth, participants mentioned intelligence in their descriptions of the target person as much as coldness. The present research suggests that Asch’s data do not provide evidence for a primacy-of-warmth effect; if anything, competence seems more primary in his studies. Still, the basic methodology underlying present-day person perception research is strongly grounded in Asch’s paradigm-shifting paper, in which impression formation was studied in a controlled laboratory setting, yielding high internal validity and experimental precision (Fiske, Cuddy, & Glick, 2007; Gilbert, 1998). Nonverbal behavior is any type of communication that does not involve speaking, including facial expressions, body language, touching, voice patterns, and interpersonal distance.Nonverbal behaviors are used to reinforce spoken words (Hostetter, 2011) but also include such things as interpersonal distanc… In psychology, a first impression is the event when one person first encounters another person and forms a mental image of that person. Impression formation is essentially a form of person perception. Although there is not one unitary message to be taken from the work (which has been cited over 2,750 times), the message that seems to have most strongly resonated with present-day researchers concerns the primacy-of-warmth effect. In Condition 2, perceivers saw the same trait-list as in Condition 1, except for warm (which was replaced by cold). Unlike for warm, the distribution of rank frequencies for cold did differ from a flat distribution, X 2(2, N = 130) = 64.22, p < .001, Cohen’s w = 0.70. The subjects were all college students, most of whom were women. impression formation A social psychological term referring to the way in which strangers develop perceptions of each other. Two Major Aspects of Impression Formation Concrete examples of behaviors they have performed that are consistent with a given trait ( exemplars, e.g. osf.io/r6idy/. multidimensional approach to the structure of personality An average valence index for each description was determined by first counting the number of positive and negative words, and then subtracting the number of negative words from the number of positive words. As apparent from Table 3 , 30.0% of participants ranked cold as the most important trait in determining their impression, whereas 36.2% ranked intelligent as the most important trait. Asch suggests that changing the context does not merely lead to affective shifts (or Halo effects), but modifies the entire Gestalt of the impression and the cognitive content of the traits within this Gestalt. formation, Further evidence for meaning change in impression I decided to embark on a (very nerdy) adventure exploring Asch’s data. One of the main problems in this area has been to determine whether people use additive or non-additive models to combine the information. In sum, the results of the ranking data do not provide evidence for a primacy-of-warmth effect: intelligence, not warmth, was the primary determinant of participant’s impressions of personality. Next, participants were asked to type in their impression of the target person (open-ended measure). Wilcoxon signed rank tests confirmed that intelligent received lower average ranks (indicating higher importance) than warm, Z(2, N = 159) = −7.27, p < .001, r = 0.41, with mean ranks of 1.89 and 3.67, respectively. In Condition 2, the average warmth-index was not significantly different from zero, t(103) = −0.68, p = .50, M = −0.08, suggesting that the traits participants used were overall equally related to competence and warmth. analysis, Association for Computational 1. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. A long tradition of (largely experimental) studies have investigated the impact of initial impressions. Google Scholar | Crossref | ISI Forming a Unified Impression: Procedure The plan followed in the experiments to be reported was to read to the sub-ject a number of discrete characteristics, said to belong to a person, with the instruction to describe the impression he formed. A Brief History of Theory and Research on Impression Formation Automaticity and Control in Stereotyping and Prejudice: The Revolutionary Role of Social Cognition Across Three Decades of Research Attribution as a Gateway to Social Cognition The differential rate of endorsement failed to hold statistically, however, as the χ2 values for Experiment II and III did not reach significance for differences in “importance” ratings (χ2(1, N=56) =0.011, ns and χ2(1, N=46) =0.36, ns), respectively). mental processes, Instructional manipulation checks: Detecting satisficing to perception: The stereotype content model and the BIAS map, G*Power 3: A flexible statistical power analysis program For example, in Experiment 1, I converted 91% of participants in the “Warm” condition who endorsed “generous” back to a total of 82 people. relations between judgments of competence and warmth, The Asch (1946) based his conclusions to a large extent on these open-ended responses, providing many anecdotes, but never systematically analyzing the data. To find out if warm and cold were more central than other traits within Conditions 1 and 2, we first investigated which traits were ranked as most influential in shaping perceivers’ impressions (see Table 2 ). I repeated this measure for each dependent variable and condition in all three experiments. We thus simply counted the occurrence of all presented traits in participants’ descriptions of the target person (plus close synonyms and common incorrect spellings, e.g., inteligent instead of intelligent). Automatic vigilance: The attention-grabbing power of negative social information. The plan followed in the experiments to be reported was to read to the subject a number of discrete characteristics, said to belong to a person, with the instruction to describe the impression he formed. These exploratory analyses include modern-day data-analytical approaches to quantify some of the ideas that Asch had about his data, but was unable to test. Solomon Asch may be best known in social psychology for his 1951 Conformity Studies in which he brought participants into a room with seven confederates— actors pretending to be other participants—and had them recount the length of a line. Fourth, the study proposal and materials were preregistered. Before demonstrating that normative pressure can lead people to lie, Asch was one of the foremost researchers on impression formation. Instead, the role of warmth was highly context-dependent, and competence was at least as important in shaping impressions as warmth. Because Asch ran his experiments almost 70 years ago, he reported his results as the percentages of people who endorsed a given trait in their sketch. Although also finding the statistical significance of results he correctly predicted interesting, I want to focus on the few existing differences between Asch’s conclusions and the significance suggested by statistics. impressions, Context effects in impression formation: Changes The primacy effect describes the tendency for information that we learn first to be weighted more heavily than is information that we learn later.One demonstration of the primacy effect was conducted by Solomon Asch (1946). The reader no doubt, while doing a basic course in psychology must have become familiar with the process of perception and some of the principles governing the same. Although “Forming Impressions of Personality” has been regarded as a first demonstration of the primacy-of-warmth effect (e.g., Abele & Bruckmüller, 2011; Abele & Wojciszke, 2007; Cuddy, Fiske, & Glick, 2008; Judd, James-Hawkins, Yzerbyt, & Kashima, 2005; Kervyn, Yzerbyt, & Judd, 2010; Richetin, Durante, Mari, Perugini, & Volpato, 2012; Vonk, 1994), it is unclear whether Asch’s original studies provide replicable evidence for the effect. Ample research suggests that warmth is often primary over competence in people’s impressions of others (e.g., Fiske et al., 2007; Wojciszke, 2005), and Asch’s classic warm-cold study often is one of the first and foremost references for this effect. Table A1 of the Additional Findings provides a summary of all 10 studies. The Additional Findings contain additional analyses that have no direct relevance to the primacy-of-warmth effect, but are related to Asch’s hypotheses (1946) about the process underlying the above mentioned change in valence (pitting a change-in-meaning-effect, e.g., Hamilton & Zanna, 1974; Zanna & Hamilton, 1977, against a simple Halo-effect). In psychology Fritz Heider's writings on balance theory emphasized that liking or disliking a person depends on how the person is positively or negatively linked to other liked or disliked entities. formation, https://doi.org/10.1027/1864-9335/a000179, Judd, James-Hawkins, Yzerbyt, & Kashima, 2005, Richetin, Durante, Mari, Perugini, & Volpato, 2012, Add this article to your Mendeley Library. According to Asch (1946), warm and cold should be central in Conditions 1 and 2 when accompanied by traits like intelligent, skillful, industrious, determined, practical, and cautious (original Study I), but not in Conditions 3–5 when accompanied by traits like obedient, weak, shallow, unambitious, and vain (original Study IV). Is warmth generally primary over competence in forming impressions, or is this effect limited to very specific circumstances? Although it may seem as if the present replication attempt proves Asch (1946) wrong, note that Asch never claimed that warmth should be primary over competence. impressions, Causal perceptions of intertrait relations: The glue that holds Much like punch cards and slide carousels, the Gestalt-view on impression formation has slowly but surely gone out of fashion (partly because there were more simple explanations for Asch’s 1946 data, e.g., Anderson, 1981; Rosenberg, Nelson, & Vivekananthan, 1968; Wishner, 1960), though some of its premises have resonated in typological models of impression formation (e.g., Anderson & Sedikides, 1991; Sedikides & Anderson, 1994). For the trait-pair choice measure, participants chose which trait (out of a pair) was most applicable to the target. Finally, to check whether our textual analysis may have missed subtle references to warmth, we asked an independent coder to rate for 350 (out of 1,023) randomly selected descriptions to what extent warmth or coldness was conveyed (more information is available in the Additional Findings). Participants then wrote down their impression of the target person (open-ended measure), selected which traits from a trait-pair list were most applicable to the target (trait-pair choice measure; see Appendix), and ranked the original traits according to importance for their impression (ranking measure). This research was partially A competence, Category-based and attribute-based reactions to others: Some More information on the interpretation of warmth in different conditions is available in the Additional Findings. 153-163. https://doi.org/10.1027/1864-9335/a000179. We will now discuss each of these measures in turn. In sum, the descriptions participants provided about the target person contained many traits that were not part of the originally presented trait lists, suggesting that participants went beyond the information given and made inferences about the target person’s other traits. Because replications of Asch’s research did not include systematic analysis of open-ended responses either (e.g., Mensh & Wishner, 1947; Semin, 1989; Veness & Brierley, 1963), as yet it is unclear to what extent they provide evidence for primacy-of-warmth (or for effects that were the actual focus of Asch’s paper; more information on those effects is available in our Additional Findings). For all its disadvantages, we believe this Gestalt-view (or other typological accounts of impression formation) may raise and answer questions that do not readily follow from dimensional models of impression formation. formation, A “classic” revisited: Students’ immediate increase statistical power, Positive-negative asymmetry in evaluations: The distinction In Condition 1, warm and intelligent were mentioned about equally often, F < 1, with means of 0.23 and 0.22, respectively. impression formation in social psychology courses. Social perception, impression formation, attribution, and social-cognitive biases are important and essential components to most college introductory social psychology courses [4]. self-perception, On the dominance of moral categories in impression to associationistic and dimensional models of person perception, Likableness ratings of 555 personality-trait words, Primacy effects in personality impression After providing informed consent, participants were instructed that they would see several traits on a computer screen, all of which belonged to the same person. Finally, participants completed some demographic questions and were debriefed. To examine Asch’s findings with modern statistical rigor, I converted the reported percentages of subjects who had endorsed a characteristic back to the raw number of participants, based on the total N given at the top of each column in Table 2. 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