He DidWhat? The Role of Diagnosticity in Revising Implicit Evaluations

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid


Research suggests that implicit evaluations are relatively insensitive to single instances of new, countervailing information that contradicts prior learning. In 6 experiments, however, we identify the critical role of the perceived diagnosticity of that new information: Counterattitudinal information that is deemed highly diagnostic of the target's true nature leads to a complete reversal of the previous implicit evaluation. Experiments 1a and 1b establish this effect by showing that newly formed implicit evaluations are reversed minutes later with exposure to a single piece of highly diagnostic information. Experiment 2 demonstrates a valence asymmetry in participants' likelihood of exhibiting rapid reversals of newly formed positive versus negative implicit evaluations. Experiment 3 provides evidence that a target must be personally responsible for the counterattitudinal behavior and not merely incidentally associated with a negative act. Experiment 4 shows that participants exhibit revision only when they judge the target's counterattitudinal behavior as offensive and thus diagnostic of his character. Experiment 5 demonstrates the behavioral implications of newly revised implicit evaluations. These studies show that newly formed implicit evaluations can be completely overturned through deliberative considerations about a single piece of counterattitudinal information.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles