Be able to describe briefly how we from first impressions of others,
referring to two stages
Be familiar with notions of “correspondent inference” and
Understand principle of accessibility
Understand how “considered impressions” are made and what people do
with them once they are formed
Be able to explain briefly why first impressions are difficult to change
Be able to give an example of self-fulfilling prophecy
The processes of impression formation
1. First impressions (superficial processing)
Are built very quickly
Rely on salient cues
Inferring personality from behaviour, appearance and demeanour
2. Considered impressions (systematic processing)
Using attributions to correct first impressions
Forming complex impressions through integration
Various factors influence depth of processing in impression formation
-Time to think
- You care about the issue
- You want to be accurate
How carefully you process information providing implications on your
impressions of others.
Salient cues influence our impressions: What kids of cues are there?
- Cues implying something about the persons group membership (i.e
age, gender, occupation, ethnicity)
- Cues that imply something specific about person(i.e clothing, hair
- Physical appearance (i.e facial contour [baby faced], height, body size)
- Verbal & non verbal behaviour (i.e emotion expression, hand
- The social context and context-person match (i.e lecturer rocking up
First impressions are about cues that are available to us and how they influence
us. We make inferences about cues (associations) which allows us to form
relationships amongst associations with are from knowledge based upon
experience be it personal or not a sort of “culture”
i.e. someone who has their sleeves rolled up may be enthusiastic or crude which
could also be linked to being energetic.
Personality is an outcome of impression formation.
First impressions involve inferring personality from others behaviour.
Correspondent inference inferring personality from observed behaviour
We make inferences/attributes from behaviour
Correspondence bias making a correspondent inference even where doing so
According to Jones & Davis’ correspondent inference theory, correspondence
inference is justifiable if 3 conditions are satisfied
1. Behaviour is based upon free will, intention and choice, therefore it was
not seemingly coerced
2. Behaviour is associated with a unique motive – observers cant think of
many potential reasons for the persons behaviour
3. Behaviour is atypical/unexpected
It is suggested by Jones and Harris that people do not follow these rules in
making inferences about others behaviours.
Correspondence bias robust?
Sometimes people attribute behaviour to situation rather than a persons
disposition i.e a person leaving a cinema laughing people are more inclined to
think this is due to the movie rather than being a joyful person.
Correspondence bias is less prevalent in east Asia and south Asia potentially due
to individuals in that culture considering a wider range of causes fore a
behaviour such as social norms.