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Neal Roese Simon Fraser University Ginger Pennington Northwestern University

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An Asymmetry in Self-Serving Impact Judgments Reflects Valence-Dependent Processing of Self-Relevant Information. Neal Roese Simon Fraser University Ginger Pennington Northwestern University. Self-Serving Tendencies in Event Impact Judgments.

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slide1

An Asymmetry in Self-Serving Impact Judgments Reflects Valence-Dependent Processing of Self-Relevant Information

Neal Roese

Simon Fraser University

Ginger Pennington

Northwestern University

slide2

Self-Serving Tendencies in

Event Impact Judgments

  • Negative events seen to influence others more than oneself: “Hurts others but not me.”
  • e.g., crime, weather, tight job market, etc.
  • Literatures: a) Person-group discrimination discrepancy; b) Third-person effect.
slide3

Outline

  • Judgments of Event Impact
  • Motivated Self-Serving Patterns
  • The Valence Asymmetry
  • Internal vs. External
  • Valence-Dependent Trait Inference
  • Three Experiments
  • Conclusions
slide4

Motivated Event Impact Judgments

  • Effect heightened by threat.
  • Effect attenuated by self-affirmation.
  • Effect moderated by trait SE.
  • (Pennington & Roese, unpublished)
slide6

Valence-Dependent Processing of Self-Relevant Information

  • Negative: quick heuristic. “Bad = not me = doesn’t affect me.”
  • Positive: requires consideration of interplay between external forces and internal traits.
  • “Do sunsets affect me? Well, I’m artistic …”
  • Multifaceted opportunities to be self-serving; e.g., sensitivity vs. independence.
slide7

Study 1 (Fall 2000)

  • Ratings of event impact: 7-pt scale.
  • Self vs. other is between-subjects.
  • Sensitivity items: sunsets, kittens, friends.
  • Independence items: counseling services, healthcare, social mixers.
slide9

Study 1 (Fall 2000)

  • Manipulation check worked for sensitivity but not independence.
  • More complicated pattern of self-serving judgment of positive than negative external events.
slide10

Valence-Dependent Processing

  • Does positive impact judgment differentially prompt access / consideration of self-relevant information from memory?
  • Use paired judgments: impact rating then trait ascription.
  • Does positive vs. negative impact judgment facilitate subsequent self inference?
slide11

Study 2 (July 2001)

  • Paired tasks: impact+trait self-ascription.
  • Target: “I am”: fill in blank.
  • Prime: Impact vs. Frequency (Control)
  • Valence: Pos vs. Neg
  • Total: 40 paired judgments.
slide12

Study 2 (July 2001), n=17

Pos, t = 1.81, p = .05 (1-tail)

Neg, t = 0.08, p = .47 (1-tail)

RT

(ms)

slide13

Study 3 (Sept 2001)

  • Goal: replicate with improvements.
  • Reduced item set to 6 pos, 6 neg.
  • Total self trait ascriptions: 24
  • Prime judgment: 3-pt scale.
slide14

Study 3 (Sept 2001), n=20

Pos, t = 1.26, p = .11 (1-tail)

Neg, t = 0.40, p = .35 (1-tail)

RT

(ms)

slide15

Conclusions

  • External impact judgments are unique.
  • New twist on explication of valence asymmetry in social judgment.
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