We tested whether goals during the processing of evaluative information determine the relative sensitivity of automatic evaluation to the valance of co-occurring stimuli versus the relation between the target and the affective stimuli. For example, "Kindness is uncharacteristic of Phil" has Phil co-occurring with kindness, but the relation suggests that he is unkind. In Experiment 1 (. N=. 1248), targets co-occurred with positive or negative behaviors that were characteristic or uncharacteristic of them. In Experiment 2 (. N=. 185), the targets started or ended pleasant or unpleasant sounds. Thus, the valence that co-occurred with targets was sometimes the opposite of the targets' valence inferred from the relation. In both experiments, we found that automatic evaluation was more sensitive to relational than to co-occurrence information when participants were instructed to form impressions than when they were instructed to memorize co-occurrence. This suggests that processing goals moderate the effect of propositional versus associative information on automatic evaluation.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This project was supported by grants from the Israeli Science Foundation [ 1012/10 ] to Y. B.-A, and from Project Implicit Inc. and the United States — Israel Binational Science Foundation [ 2013214 ] to Y. B.-A and B.A.N. B.A.N. is an officer of Project Implicit Inc., a nonprofit organization that provided financial and technical support to this project, and includes in its mission “To develop and deliver methods for investigating and applying phenomena of implicit social cognition, including especially phenomena of implicit bias based on age, race, gender or other factors.”
© 2015 Elsevier Inc.
- Associative processes
- Attitude formation
- Automatic evaluation
- Processing goals
- Propositional processes