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Hypothesis testing in social judgment



In 4 separate investigations, female undergraduates were provided with hypotheses about the personal attributes of other individuals (targets). Ss then prepared to test these hypotheses (i.e., that their targets were extraverts or that their targets were introverts) by choosing a series of questions to ask their targets in a forthcoming interview. In each investigation, Ss planned to test these hypotheses by preferentially searching for behavioral evidence that would confirm the hypotheses. Moveover, these search procedures channeled social interaction between Ss and targets in ways that caused the targets to provide actual behavioral confirmation for Ss' hypotheses. A theoretical analysis of the psychological processes believed to underlie and generate both the preferential search for hypothesis-confirming behavioral evidence and the interpersonal consequences of hypothesis-testing activities is presented. (15 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)