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Judgments of warmth and competence in a computerized paradigm: Little evidence of proposed impression formation asymmetries

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ABSTRACT

Much of what we know concerning impression formation is based on experimental methods where the participant receives a list of traits or behaviors and is asked to make trait judgments or meta-cognitive judgments. The present study aimed to put some well-known effects from the impression formation literature to a test in a more dynamic computerized environment, more akin to many real world impression formation scenarios. In three studies participants were introduced to multiple target persons. They were given information about the target persons’ behavior, one at a time, while making ratings of their warmth and competence, and their probability of performing related behaviors in the future. In neither of the studies the negativity effect of warmth or the positivity effect of competence were reproduced.

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Competence ratings across the 10 trials for mainly competent and mainly incompetent targets.
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pone.0175210.g003: Competence ratings across the 10 trials for mainly competent and mainly incompetent targets.

Mentions: Hypothesis 2 predicted that ratings of competence would be more influenced by information about competent behaviors than incompetent behaviors. Separate correlations were examined for the mainly competent and the mainly incompetent targets. The competent and incompetent target information had an equal amount of influence on change in target ratings, showing that information about competent behaviors (r = .36) did not influence ratings more than information about incompetent behaviors (r = .37). We compared how much the ratings of the competent and incompetent targets had been altered between the first rating (only neutral information) and the last rating of each target. Competent targets were rated as more competent on the last compared to the first trial; MDiff = 18.31, SD = 11.16, t(95) = 15.66, p < .001. Incompetent targets were rated as more incompetent on the last compared to the first trial; MDiff = -19.79, SD = 17.08, t(94) = 11.29, p < .001 (Fig 3). The absolute change in ratings was not significantly different for competent and incompetent targets; t(94) = 0.74, p = .459.


Judgments of warmth and competence in a computerized paradigm: Little evidence of proposed impression formation asymmetries
Competence ratings across the 10 trials for mainly competent and mainly incompetent targets.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5384683&req=5

pone.0175210.g003: Competence ratings across the 10 trials for mainly competent and mainly incompetent targets.
Mentions: Hypothesis 2 predicted that ratings of competence would be more influenced by information about competent behaviors than incompetent behaviors. Separate correlations were examined for the mainly competent and the mainly incompetent targets. The competent and incompetent target information had an equal amount of influence on change in target ratings, showing that information about competent behaviors (r = .36) did not influence ratings more than information about incompetent behaviors (r = .37). We compared how much the ratings of the competent and incompetent targets had been altered between the first rating (only neutral information) and the last rating of each target. Competent targets were rated as more competent on the last compared to the first trial; MDiff = 18.31, SD = 11.16, t(95) = 15.66, p < .001. Incompetent targets were rated as more incompetent on the last compared to the first trial; MDiff = -19.79, SD = 17.08, t(94) = 11.29, p < .001 (Fig 3). The absolute change in ratings was not significantly different for competent and incompetent targets; t(94) = 0.74, p = .459.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Much of what we know concerning impression formation is based on experimental methods where the participant receives a list of traits or behaviors and is asked to make trait judgments or meta-cognitive judgments. The present study aimed to put some well-known effects from the impression formation literature to a test in a more dynamic computerized environment, more akin to many real world impression formation scenarios. In three studies participants were introduced to multiple target persons. They were given information about the target persons&rsquo; behavior, one at a time, while making ratings of their warmth and competence, and their probability of performing related behaviors in the future. In neither of the studies the negativity effect of warmth or the positivity effect of competence were reproduced.

No MeSH data available.