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Impression Formation. We form impressions of people rapidly so we need to make short cuts Central Traits - Honesty, friendliness, meanness, happiness, introverted, extroverted- traits that are stable across time. Peripheral Traits - Personality traits which are affected by central traits.

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impression formation
Impression Formation.
  • We form impressions of people rapidly so we need to make short cuts
  • Central Traits- Honesty, friendliness, meanness, happiness, introverted, extroverted- traits that are stable across time.
  • Peripheral Traits- Personality traits which are affected by central traits.
primacy recency effects
Primacy & Recency Effects
  • The study of Jim Luchins(1957) refer to h/out.
  • Evidence you are presented with first about a person remains strong and has more influence than subsequent information.- Primacy effect
  • Later information has more influence than earlier information- Recency effect
criticisms of primacy
Criticisms of Primacy
  • In our everyday life we encounter situations which provide us with information that prevents primacy occurring.
  • STEREOTYPING – Our assumptions we hold about people are strong enough so that we do not even register the initial information.I.e accents, clothes,ethnicity.
application of primacy recency
Application of Primacy & Recency.
  • Relationships.



How judgements can

Affect individuals.

implicit personality theories
Implicit Personality Theories.
  • Our own ideas about which personality traits go together.
  • Halo effect. Dion (1972)/ Harai & Mcdavid (1973)

Refers to the kind of information we generate about a person based on a positive or negative factor.

  • Personal constructs. Kelley (1955)

Through our own experiences we develop our own theories of what people are like.

application of halo effects personal constructs
Application of Halo effects & Personal constructs.
  • The research does not tell us how we form first impressions.
  • Sometimes impression is based on verbal description and little else- not the same as meeting someone.
  • The halo effect does have implications for the judgements we make about strangers.
  • A rigid generalisation and over simplified set of ideas we have about others.
  • E.g. All black people can dance
  • Women are good homemakers
  • Jews are tight-fisted.
study of stereotyping
Study of stereotyping:
  • Name: Razran (1950)
  • Method: Correlation analysis.
  • Procedure: Participants were asked to rate pictures of girls on a broad range of psychological characteristics. Later they were asked to rate the same pictures but the girls were identified with a name which sounded Irsh/ Jewish.
  • Results:-Razran compared original ratings with the those linked to ethnicity and found differences:
  • Jewish girls were rated higher on intelligence and ambition but lower on niceness
  • Conclusion:- ratings were based on stereotypes held about particular ethnic groups.
social categorisation
Social categorisation.

Tajfel (1971)

Stereotyping is based upon thought processes:

Differences between groups.

Similarities in the same group.

14 & 15 yr old boys assigned to groups by toss of coin

Each told if they awarded points to their group the other group automatically got the same points +2.

Results: Participants chose pairings which created biggest difference in points between their own and other group ( 7 points for us 1 point for them!)

Supporting Tajfel idea that we will discriminate against out groups.

the effects of stereotyping
The effects of stereotyping...
  • Can direct our attention to relevant stereotype.
  • Tends to discount the information which is inconsistent- so we don’t break down stereotypes they encourage us to keep them going.
the effects of stereotyping11
The effects of stereotyping...
  • Explains why we use scapegoats....
  • We use stereotypes as a way of justifying treating others differently.
evaluation application
Evaluation & Application......
  • (-)Recreated situations (artificial) so they do not reflect real life.
  • (-)Participants may not tell the truth and give ‘politically correct answers’
  • (+) Has helped raise awareness about prejudice..better understanding of why.
sample questions
Sample Questions
  • Explain the difference between central and peripheral traits.(3)
  • Describe one study in which impression formation was investigated (5)
  • Explain how a stereotype can lead to a negative evaluation (3)