This article reports on a study of impression formation. The evaluation of products by stimulus persons is affected by the adaptation-level concept, the contrast-assimilation principle, and balance theory concepts. Discrepant information produces cognitive reorganization and overevaluation.
Two experimental groups (n=54) participated in one of two conditions. In one, a white stimulus person appeared as the “artist” of ten drawings; in the second condition, an Aboriginal “artist” claimed authorship of the identical products. Subsequently, the subjects were
asked to evaluate the drawings on an open-ended question and the semantic differential. The results show that the drawings attributed to the Aboriginal “artist” produced more positive impressions and were rated more highly on the semantic differential. These data suggest the importance
of developing minority models to counter predominant stereotypes in the white community.