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CONSTRUCT INDIVIDUALITY, COGNITIVE COMPLEXITY, AND THE FORMATION AND REMEMBERING OF INTERPERSONAL IMPRESSIONS

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Subjects differing in cognitive complexity formed impressions from either (1) three positive and three negative experimenter-selected traits, (2) three traits of each evaluation generated by the subject in a preliminary session, or (3) three experimenter-selected traits of one valence and three subject-generated traits of the opposite valence. Additionally, subjects reconstructed their impressions from memory after eight weeks. Impressions were dominated in content and evaluation by information tied to subjects' own constructs. The strength with which subjects attributed the stimulus qualities to the other was greater for self-generated traits. While all subjects organized inconsistency in their impressions at similar levels when receiving self-generated positive information, high and low complexity subjects differed in the organization of their impressions in the other conditions largely owing to the greater utility of negative information to high-complexity subjects.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 1977

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