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IMPRESSION FORMATION AND CONSTRUCT SYSTEM ORGANIZATION

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Abstract:

Research into the changes in construing associated with impression formation has focussed on the content of the cognitive dimensions used. Such an approach has ignored the structural organization of such cognitive dimensions. This study used the repertory grid to explore the structural correlates o/the impression formation process. Forty nine first year university students completed repertory grids based upon well known and newly met acquaintances. Consistent with theoretical expectation, newly met acquaintances were construed with more construct independence, less construct integration, and less meaningfulness than persons who had been known for a longer period of time. Upon retesting 10 weeks later, newly met acquaintances were seen in a more meaningful and integrated manner. Additionally, it was found that subjects had difficulties in applying constructs elicited around well known persons to newly met acquaintances. The implications of these findings for the study of impression formation and repertory grid methodology are discussed.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1991.19.2.87

Publication date: January 1, 1991

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