Title

Lay Theories and Evaluation-Based Organization of Impressions: An Application of the Memory Search Paradigm

Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

11-2002

Abstract

People may believe that personal attributes are fixed entities that cannot be changed (hold an entity theory). Alternatively, they may believe that qualities of a person are malleable (hold an incremental theory). In the present research, the authors used Sternberg's (1966) memory search task to examine entity and incremental theorists' cognitive strategies in memory search. It was hypothesized that entity theorists, who have a greater tendency to make spontaneous evaluation of people, would organize impressions in short-term memory according to whether the stimulus persons are positively or negatively evaluated. Next, they might compare the probe only to the stimulus persons with matched valence or discard the ones that did not match the probe in valence. By comparison, incremental theorists, who tend not to make immediate evaluative trait judgments, should be less likely to use these evaluation-based strategies. These hypotheses were confirmed in two memory search experiments, in which the names of positive or negative persons were used as stimuli.

Discipline

Personality and Social Contexts | Social Psychology

Research Areas

Psychology

Publication

Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin

Volume

28

Issue

11

First Page

1518

Last Page

1527

ISSN

0146-1672

Identifier

10.1177/014616702237579

Publisher

SAGE

Additional URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/014616702237579

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