Interpersonal consequences of person perception processes in two social contexts

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Abstract

Examined whether perceiver-based perceptual processes affect social behavior. Approximately 1,100 undergraduates were exposed to a videotape that portrayed a male or female child interacting with an adult in a playroom. In Study 1, Ss who “saw” the child emit (a) primarily positive behaviors (i.e., Ss who were positively biased), (b) about equal numbers of positive and negative behaviors (i.e., Ss who were accurate), or (c) primarily negative behaviors (i.e., Ss who were negatively biased) then engaged in cooperative task activities with a 7-yr-old child. In Study 2, a subset of these Ss engaged in a discussion with another undergraduate about 3 issues on which they apparently disagreed. Systematic analyses of these interactions suggested that perceptual processes affected social behavior–negatively biased Ss tended to act in a more authoritarian manner in their encounters with the child, whereas positively biased Ss were the least effective in the discussion task. (23 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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