The Goal of Forming Accurate Impressions During Social Interactions: Attenuating the Impact of Negative Expectancies

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145 Scopus citations

Abstract

Investigated the idea that impression formation goals may regulate the impact that perceiver expectancies have on social interactions. In simulated interviews, interviewer Ss were given a negative expectancy about one applicant S and no expectancy about another. Half the interviewers were encouraged to form accurate impressions; the others were not. As predicted, no-goal interviewers exhibited a postinteraction impression bias against the negative-expectancy applicants, whereas the accuracy-goal interviewers did not. Moreover, the ability of the accuracy goal to reduce this bias was apparently mediated by more extensive and less biased interviewer information-gathering, which in turn elicited an improvement in negative-expectancy applicants' performances. These findings stress the theoretical and practical importance of considering the motivational context within which expectancy-tinged social interactions occur.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)374-386
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Volume56
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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