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The Role of Trait Inferences in Evaluative Conditioning
Abstract and Figures
Evaluative Conditioning (EC) effect is a change in evaluative responding to a neutral stimulus (CS) due to its pairing with a valenced stimulus (US). Traditionally, EC effects are viewed as fundamentally different from persuasion effects. Inspired by a propositional perspective to EC, four studies (N = 1,284) tested if, like persuasion effects, EC effects can also be driven by trait inferences. Experiments 1-2 found that promoting trait inferences (by pairing people with trait words rather than nouns) increased EC effects. Experiments 3-4 found that undermining trait inferences (by questioning the validity of those inferences) decreased EC effects. In all experiments, however , EC effects were still significant when trait inferences were invalid. Taken together, our findings (a) suggest that trait inferences can play an important role in EC effects, (b) constrain theoretical models of EC, and (c) have important implications for applied EC interventions.
Figures - uploaded by Tal Moran
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