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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

141 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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