Taking a closer look: On the operation of nonconscious impression formation

McCulloch, K.C., Ferguson, M.J., Kawada, C., & Bargh, J.A. 2008. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 44 (3): 614-23.

In this article, we analyzed the information processing that underlies nonconscious impression formation. In the first experiment (Experiment 1), the nonconscious activation of the impression formation goal led to a faster analysis of the trait implications of behaviors, compared with a control group. In Experiment 2, participants who were nonconsciously primed with an impression formation goal were more likely than those in a control condition to form associations in memory between behaviors and implied traits. In Experiment 3, nonconsciously primed participants were more sensitive than those in a control condition to whether inconsistent trait information was relevant or irrelevant to the actor’s disposition. Moreover, in Experiments 2 and 3, those with a nonconscious goal showed just as much evidence of impression formation as those who were consciously and intentionally trying to form an impression. Implications for nonconscious goal-pursuit and impression formation are discussed.

(My publication)Posted:Jan 01 2008, 12:00 AM by mferguson
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