Influence of Expectancy of Opponents' Competence upon Information Processing of Their Discrete Attributes

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Abstract

This paper suggests that the expectancy of an opponent's competence can make players conserve their attention towards the opponent's discrete attributes and make them confirm their expectancy with the attributes. 11 male and 9 female undergraduate students expected to compete with a fictitious subject under three conditions; conditions created by the opponent's record of four wins, four losses, or no record. Subjects made comments about the opponent's discrete abilities, some weaknesses, and some strengths into a tape recorder. Both weaknesses and strengths of the opponent with no record were attended to more than those with records. Concerning the opponents with records, a tendency to reconfirm expectancies was detected, that is, the discrete abilities were likely to be attributed to the record.

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