Michael Ross

Michael Ross
University of Waterloo | UWaterloo · Department of Psychology

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112
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Publications

Publications (112)
Article
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With baby boomers entering old age and longevity increasing, policymakers have focused on the physical, social, and health needs of older persons. We urge policymakers to consider cognitive aging as well, particularly normal, age-related memory decline. Psychological scientists attribute memory decline mainly to cognitive overload stemming from age...
Article
The present research tested the hypothesis that many people's ambient religious beliefs are non-hostile and magnanimous by assessing whether reminding people of their religious belief systems would reduce hostility after threat. Across religious affiliations, participants reported that their religious belief systems encourage magnanimous behavior....
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According to psychological and popular opinion, older persons are especially susceptible to consumer fraud. Research on cognitive and affective aging reveals age-related changes that could increase the vulnerability of older persons to consumer fraud. However, this research does not show that consumer fraud actually is more prevalent among older pe...
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How people interpret the meaning of minor relationship transgressions can impact broader relationship well-being. It is proposed that picturing relationship transgressions from a third-person (vs. first-person) visual perspective prompts people to think of them in the context of their chronic relationship beliefs and goals. In doing so, individuals...
Article
In the legal literature, “privity” refers to the link between a minority's current social, psychological, and economic problems and its previous mistreatment by the government. Scholars speculate that judgments of privity underlie support for redress for historical injustices. There is no gold standard for evaluating privity, however, and its asses...
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Objectives: Two studies examined the extent to which the age-related positivity effect in autobiographical recall is the result of age differences in appraisal and memory. Methods: In Study 1, older and younger participants reported 1 pleasant and 1 unpleasant event for 5 days. Participants attempted to recall those events a week later. In Study...
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Years after a shocking news event many people confidently report details of their flashbulb memories (e.g., what they were doing). People's confidence is a defining feature of their flashbulb memories, but it is not well understood. We tested a model that predicted confidence in flashbulb memories. In particular we examined whether people's social...
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BACKGROUND/STUDY CONTEXT: According to the socioemotional selectivity theory (SST; Mather & Carstensen, 2003, Psychological Sciences, 14, 409-415), aging is associated with greater motivation to regulate emotions. The authors propose that the language people use to describe personal memories provides an index of age differences in emotional self-re...
Chapter
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Philosopher George Santayana is probably best known today for his aphorism, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." Variations of this quote appear frequently when countries, ethnic groups, or individuals engage in conflicts over economic, legal, or territorial issues. The version of history provided by one’s own side is de...
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This study investigates the link between motivational and affective experiences in the daily life of bicultural individuals. Employing a diary design, the authors examined the role of cultural identification in the dynamic goal–affect association in East-Asian Canadian biculturals. Using multilevel modeling procedures, the authors found that moment...
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After they stop drivers for exceeding the speed limit, police often have the discretion to alter the penalty. We investigated the degree to which extra-legal factors (apologies and other verbal responses), in addition to speed over the limit, predict ticket costs for speeding. Surveys of speeders were conducted in the U.S. and Canada. The data sugg...
Article
We examined the role of self-relevance in older and younger adults' evaluations of remembered events. In Study 1, participants rated the positivity of their own positive, negative and neutral memories as well as those of a same-aged peer. Older adults rated events more positively than younger adults did, regardless of the memory source. In Study 2,...
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We review our research on predictions in two different domains: (a) people's estimates of how long they will take to complete various academic and everyday tasks and (b) forecasts by individuals in dating relationships of the future course of their romantic association. Our research indicates that people underestimate their completion times. Furthe...
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Cultural differences in process-focused versus person-focused themes were examined using both cultural artifacts (Study 1) and self-reports (Study 2). In Study 1, the contents of Chinese and American graduation and encouragement cards were analyzed for their relative emphasis on person- versus process-focused themes. Person-focused themes center on...
Article
In this article, we examine the psychology of revenge. We begin by discussing challenges associated with defining revenge. We then review the relative costs and benefits associated with taking revenge. Although revenge can deter future harm, promote cooperation, and restore avengers’ self-worth and power, it can also contribute to conflict escalati...
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Despite wide acceptance of the stereotype that women apologize more readily than men, there is little systematic evidence to support this stereotype or its supposed bases (e.g., men's fragile egos). We designed two studies to examine whether gender differences in apology behavior exist and, if so, why. In Study 1, participants reported in daily dia...
Article
Four studies were conducted to investigate cultural differences in predicting and understanding regression toward the mean. We demonstrated, with tasks in such domains as athletic competition, health and weather, that Chinese are more likely than Canadians to make predictions that are consistent with regression toward the mean. In addition, Chinese...
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We examine cultural (mainly East and West) differences in the functions and contents of autobiographical memory. We discuss how cultural differences in physical environments, self-views, the motivation to self-enhance, concerns for behavioral and emotional regulation, socialization, and language affect the contents and use of memory. Cultural influ...
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Low self-esteem individuals (LSEs) tend to react to relationship threats with self-protective and relationship-destructive behaviors that decrease their partners’ satisfaction with the relationship over time (Murray, Bellavia, Rose, & Griffin, 2003). In the current studies, we examined the effects of a theoretically driven intervention on LSEs’ rel...
Article
We examine cultural (mainly East and West) differences in the functions and contents of autobiographical memory. We discuss how cultural differences in physical environments, self-views, the motivation to self-enhance, concerns for behavioral and emotional regulation, socialization, and language affect the contents and use of memory. Cultural influ...
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This paper analyzes the psychology of moral judgment from the framework of attribution theory. The relevance of perceptions of responsibility for moral evaluation is examined along with four specific factors proposed to influence the sophistication of responsibility attributions: specification, motivational biases, linguistic usage, and attribution...
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When children apologize, they accept responsibility for wrongdoings and act to reconcile social relationships. Apologies to siblings were coded in 40 families that were observed for 9 h when children were 2½ and 4½ years old, and again 2 years later. We found that sibling apologies were rare, generally simple in form, and more frequent after physic...
Article
We explore the function of subjective perceptions of time in regulating personal identity. Events that reflect favourably on the self feel more recent than events that reflect negatively on the self. We propose that this systematic bias in subjective time judgment serves an identity regulation function: These biases allow people to maintain a favou...
Article
Scholars from various disciplines suggest that government apologies for historical injustices fulfill important psychological goals. After reviewing psychological literature that contributes to this discussion, we present a list of elements that political apologies should contain to be acceptable to both members of the victimized minority and the n...
Article
People who score high on modern racism scales consistently oppose reparations for race-based social injustices. Scholars debate whether this opposition reflects racism [e.g., Sears, D. O., & Henry, P. J. (2005). Over thirty years later: A contemporary look at symbolic racism. In M.P Zanna, (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology, Vol. 37...
Chapter
Where were you when you first heard about the 9/11 attacks? Do you remember what you were doing at the time? How did you feel when you first heard the news, and how does thinking about this event make you feel now? As of this writing, many Americans over the age of 15 most likely find these questions remarkably easy to answer. The fact that a singu...
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There is disagreement in the literature about whether a "positivity effect" in memory performance exists in older adults. To assess the generalizability of the effect, the authors examined memory for autobiographical, picture, and word information in a group of younger (17-29 years old) and older (60-84 years old) adults. For the autobiographical m...
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Older (mean age = 74.23) and younger (mean age = 33.50) participants recalled items from 6 briefly exposed household scenes either alone or with their spouses. Collaborative recall was compared with the pooled, nonredundant recall of spouses remembering alone (nominal groups). The authors examined hits, self-generated false memories, and false memo...
Article
Groups around the world are seeking reparations for historical harms. In three studies, the authors examined if people are more inclined to support a historical victim group if the group continues to suffer today because of an earlier harm. In Study 1, participants perceived greater victim suffering when the harm was recent and the degree of percei...
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The authors examined the degree to which ratings of negative affectivity (NA) and relational security predicted the breakup of long-distance and same-city dating relationships. Couples completed initial surveys and were contacted 1 year later about the status of their relationship. In the initial surveys, both partners completed NA and relational s...
Chapter
The Social Psychological Importance of Personal Pasts and FuturesGenerating Memories and ForecastsAssessing the Accuracy of ForecastsForecasting Future FeelingsCollective Remembering and ForecastingConclusions
Chapter
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We examine the impact of culture on schemas, and how prior information in the form of shared knowledge shapes the constructive process of memory. We begin our analysis of this literature by explaining what we mean by the term "culture." We view culture as both a system and a process (rituals, daily routines, and practices) of symbolic mediation. By...
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Differences in ingroup identification can influence the accessibility of historical memories. In Study 1, the authors examined individual differences in identity; in Study 2 they experimentally manipulated identity. In Study 1, high identifiers recalled fewer incidents of ingroup violence and hatred than did low identifiers. High and low identifier...
Article
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Although people with low self-esteem (LSEs) doubt their value to their romantic partners, they tend to resist positive feedback from their partners. This resistance undermines their relationships and has been difficult to overcome in past research. The authors investigated whether LSEs could be induced to take their partners' kind words to heart by...
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Sixty-four sibling dyads (4-12 years old; 61% males; 83% European-American) were asked to resolve an ongoing conflict. Older siblings provided leadership by suggesting, modifying, justifying, and requesting assent to plans for conflict resolution. Younger siblings countered and disagreed, but also contributed to planning and agreed to their sibling...
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Reports an error in "Snatching Defeat From the Jaws of Victory: Self-Esteem Differences in the Experience and Anticipation of Success" by Joanne V. Wood, Sara A. Heimpel, Ian R. Newby-Clark and Michael Ross ( Journal of Personality and Social Psychology , 2005[Nov], Vol 89[5], 764-780). There are typographical errors in Table 2 (certain values shou...
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Successes--defined broadly as meeting important standards or receiving positive evaluations--are widely assumed to be enjoyed equally by people with high self-esteem (HSEs) and low self-esteem (LSEs). Three studies examined the contradictory hypothesis that HSEs react more favorably to success than do LSEs and that success brings about certain unfa...
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Two studies examined self-appraisals in Japanese and Canadian samples. Study 1 included open-ended self-descriptions; Study 2 incorporated indirect measures of self-enhancing tendencies. In Study 1, the content analysis assessed spontaneous evaluations of self and others, private and relational self-statements, reflected appraisals, temporal and so...
Article
The impact bias in affective forecasting-a tendency to overestimate the emotional consequences of future events-may not be a universal phenomenon. This prediction bias stems from a cognitive process known as focalism, whereby predictors focus attention narrowly on the upcoming target event. Three studies supported the hypothesis that East Asians, w...
Article
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Two experiments were conducted to explore culture and self-priming effects on memories of Caucasian and Asian American adults (N=526). In the experimental conditions, either the collective or private self was primed prior to retrieval. Participants then described their earliest childhood memories (Study 1) or recalled a fictional story (Study 2). S...
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Parents and two children (average ages: 81/2 and 51/2 years) in 76 families each appraised the quality of their relationships with one another. Family members described generally positive relationships, both from their own perspectives (e.g., “I am often nice to my mother”) and from the perspectives of their relationship partners (e.g., “My mother...
Article
Older participants (mean age = 72.82 years) attempted to recall items from shopping lists while shopping in a supermarket and subsequently in their homes on recognition tests. They also attempted to identify local landmarks on a map. The recall occurred either together with their spouses or independently. Collaborative recall was compared to the po...
Article
Part 1. The Emergence of the Self and Memory. Denise R. Beike, James M. Lampinen, Douglas A. Behrend, Evolving Conceptions of the Self and Memory. Jochen Barth, Daniel J. Povinelli, John G. H. Cant, Bodily Origins of Self. Mark L. Howe, Early Memory, Early Self, and the Emergence of Autobiographical Memory. Part 2. Narrative Conceptions of the Self...
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We investigated children's personal representations of significant sibling conflicts. Forty pairs of siblings were interviewed separately about the same disputes. Although they described the same episodes, both older (M age = 7.0) and younger (M age = 4.4) siblings ascribed more serious transgressions to their opponents than to themselves. They als...
Article
The authors compared people's views of their histories and futures by asking them to recall and anticipate personally significant episodes. It was hypothesized and found in Study 1 that individuals spontaneously recall an affectively mixed past, containing both "highs" and "lows," whereas they anticipate homogeneously ideal futures. It was further...
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Autobiographical memory plays an important role in the construction of personal identity. We review evidence of the bi-directional link between memory and identity. Individuals' current self-views, beliefs, and goals influence their recollections and appraisals of former selves. In turn, people's current self-views are influenced by what they remem...
Article
We examine links between self-assessment and autobiographical memory. People generally view themselves as improving over time, relative to their peers. We suggest that this sense of improvement is sometimes illusory, and motivated by the desire to enhance the current self. Our research focuses on people's subjective feeling of temporal distance bet...
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In a study of bicultural individuals’ self-perceptions, Chinese-born students were randomly assigned to participate in either Chinese or English. Serving as controls, Canadian-born participants of either European or Chinese descent participated in English. The effects of the language manipulation paralleled findings in previous studies comparing Ea...
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The authors' research focuses on the mechanisms by which people segregate their general theories about their predictions (i.e., that they are usually unrealistic) from their specific expectations for an upcoming task. This chapter begins by documenting the ubiquity of optimistic predictions in everyday tasks. Topics discussed in this chapter includ...
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Supporting predictions from temporal self-appraisal theory, participants in 3 studies reported feeling farther from former selves and experiences with unfavorable implications for their current self-view than from equally distant selves and experiences with flattering implications. This distancing bias occurred when assignment to negative and posit...
Article
Intimate partners described a past transgression in which one of them had been a victim and the other a perpetrator and then evaluated each other and their relationship. Participants had been randomly assigned to the perpetrator or victim role. Perpetrators described their actions as more justifiable, perceived greater improvement since the transgr...
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Supporting predictions from temporal self-appraisal theory, participants in 3 studies reported feeling farther from former selves and experiences with unfavorable implications for their current self-view than from equally distant selves and experiences with flattering implications. This distancing bias occurred when assignment to negative and posit...
Article
The attributional statements intimate partners communicate to one another were examined as a function of trust. In discussions by 35 married couples, 850 attributions and corresponding events were coded on dimensions of valence, globality, and locus. Results of regression and contingency analyses indicate that attributional statements expressed in...
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The attributional statements intimate partners communicate to one another were examined as a function of trust. In discussions by 35 married couples, 850 attributions and corresponding events were coded on dimensions of valence, globality, and locus. Results of regression and contingency analyses indicate that attributional statements expressed in...
Article
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The authors present and test a theory of temporal self-appraisal. According to the theory, people can maintain their typically favorable self-regard by disparaging their distant and complimenting their recent past selves. This pattern of appraisals should be stronger for more important attributes because of their greater impact on self-regard and s...
Article
The authors present and test a theory of temporal self-appraisal. According to the theory, people can maintain their typically favorable self-regard by disparaging their distant and complimenting their recent past selves. This pattern of appraisals should be stronger for more important attributes because of their greater impact on self-regard and s...
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Task completion plans normally resemble best-case scenarios and yield overly optimistic predictions of completion times. The authors induced participants to generate more pessimistic scenarios and examined completion predictions. Participants described a pessimistic scenario of task completion either alone or with an optimistic scenario. Pessimisti...
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Although past literature emphasizes the importance of social comparisons, in this study it was predicted that participants would often mention temporal comparisons in their self-descriptions. The first 3 studies revealed that participants report as many or more temporal-past comparisons than social comparisons. It was predicted that people would pa...
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In two longitudinal studies, university students, their roommates, and parents assessed the quality and forecast the longevity of the students’ dating relationships. The longitudinal nature of this research allowed assessment of the relative accuracy of predictions offered by students and observers. Students assessed their relationships more positi...
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Three studies examined the relationship between self-awareness and perceptions of “transparency,” that is, individuals' beliefs about the degree to which their personal qualities can be accurately discerned from their behavior. Study 1 explored the relation of dispositional self-consciousness to feelings of transparency. Study 2 examined the effect...
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We examined criteria that rememberers and neutral audiences use to validate conflicting memories. In Experiment 1, rememberers described an incident that they recalled differently from someone else from their own and the other person's perspective. Rememberers and audiences then evaluated the accuracy of statements in both accounts, explained their...
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We here examine the nature of the pasts and futures that people construct and the role that implicit theories and motivation play in such creations. People's views of their pasts and futures are qualitatively different. They give their pasts mixed reviews, whereas they view their futures as unequivocally positive. We examine conditions that lead in...
Article
Koriat & Goldsmith propose that the correspondence metaphor captures the essence of everyday memory research. We suggest that correspondence is often not at issue because objective assessments of everyday events are frequently lacking. In these cases, other questions arise, such as how individuals evaluate the validity of memories and the significa...
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In this chapter, we consider the degree to which individuals are pulled to behave by their conceptions of the future, pushed to act by their recollections of the past, or primarily driven by current exigencies. In examining conceptions of the future, we discuss how individuals bridge the present and the future, the origin of goals, their impact on...
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Tested 3 hypotheses concerning people's predictions of task completion times: (1) people underestimate their own but not others' completion times, (2) people focus on plan-based scenarios rather than on relevant past experiences while generating their predictions, and (3) people's attributions diminish the relevance of past experiences. Five studie...
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[discusses whether] attitude change, following a persuasive communication, produces corresponding behavior change / [reviews studies on the persistence of persuasion] is autobiographical recall biased / does autobiographical recall bolster newly formed attitudes / does autobiographical recall increase persistence / does autobiographical recall in...
Chapter
If there is one topic that binds the various subdisciplines of psychology together, it is memory. The social psychologist examining attitudes or interpersonal conflict, the cognitive psychologist studying learning or decision making, the developmental psychologist researching the growth of cognitive or social capacities, the clinical psychologist i...
Book
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http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/64018/1/Autobiographical_memory.pdf
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Social perceivers exhibit a diagnosticity bias, whereby they overestimate the extent to which behaviors and events convey the information that they most want to obtain. The authors propose that this bias reflects individuals' eageress to satisfy their prevailing informational goals. They suggest a typology of informational goals and offer an analys...
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It was hypothesized that when it is difficult for people to remember what they said previously, they may use their sense of familiarity with a statement to determine whether it is one they expressed. In 3 experiments, Ss were asked to state whether they had witnessed certain objects in a previous slide presentation; they responded aloud with experi...
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Gender differences in socialization and marital roles may lead wives to attend more closely to relationship interactions than their spouses do; wives may also assign greater importance to such interactions and deliberate more about them. As a result, wives would possess more vivid memories than their husbands have for events in their relationship....
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This research explored how older adults recall the traits they possessed at an earlier age. It was hypothesized that older adults' recollections would be related to their theories about aging. In Study 1, a group of older Ss provided their theories concerning how various traits change with age. Another group of older Ss rated their current status o...
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Previous research is consistent with the proposition that people use implicit theories of personal stability or change in remembering the attributes they possessed in the past. However, there has been little systematic investigation of the relation between these implicit theories and memory biases. In this study, the relation between women's theori...
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It is hypothesized that people possess implicit theories regarding the inherent consistency of their attributes, as well as a set of principles concerning the conditions that are likely to promote personal change or stability. The nature of these theories is discussed in the context of a study of beliefs about life-span development. It is then sugg...
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The purpose of the present study was to examine the association between naturally occurring changes in people's impressions and their recollections of themselves, close others, and their relationship. It was reasoned that (a) reconstructing the past consists primarily of characterizing it as similar to, or different from, the present; (b) people em...
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It was hypothesized that allocators unwittingly forge a relation between the availability of a resource and the worthiness of the applicants for that resource. In a simulation of an academic job search, graduate students were instructed to hire either 2 or 6 of 12 excellent candidates. Subjects spoke into a tape recordor reporting their initial rea...
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Tested the theory that social position labels by themselves are sufficient to evoke expectations about the attributes of those associated with the labels. 72 male undergraduates in unstructured triads worked on a group decision-making task and then were assigned to 1 of 3 status positions (supervisor, worker, or neutral-status observer) for a separ...
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Previous research has demonstrated that people recall their past in ways that exaggerate its consistency with their current condition. It is argued that whether people perceive stability or change in themselves depends, in part, on the theory they invoke to reconstruct their past. Two studies, with 106 undergraduates, addressed the impact of a pote...
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Three experiments with 197 undergraduates determined when anticipatory attitude change occurs via self-persuasion or self-presentation and identified the implications for attitude persistence of a shift by either process. In Exp I, Ss' thoughts and attitudes were assessed while they expected either a counterattitudinal or a proattitudinal message....
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Reports 3 studies that used a total of 195 male and female undergraduates. Exp I showed that shifts in attitude were accompanied by shifts in the recall of the more qualitative rather than quantitative aspects of past behaviors. Exps II and III assessed the effects of recall on Ss' commitment to newly formed attitudes. On the premise that behavior...