On the road to self-perception: Interpretation of self-behaviors can be altered by priming

John J. Skowronski, Constantine Sedikides, Jeremy D. Heider, Sarah E. Wood, Cory R. Scherer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

In 3 experiments, some participants read a story describing ambiguously mean behaviors performed by another person. Other participants read the story and imagined that they performed the behaviors. Results showed that (a) exposure to a conceptual priming manipulation caused assimilation effects in actor meanness judgments, regardless of whether the actor was self or other, (b) tasks designed neither to heighten self-concept accessibility nor to threaten the self moderated the effects of conceptual meanness primes on self-meanness judgments, and (c) this lack of moderation occurred despite considerable evidence of self-enhancement effects elsewhere in self-judgments. A fourth experiment examined the extent to which priming affected interpretations of real self or other behavior. Results were consistent with the idea that priming altered event interpretation and subsequent judgments but also suggested that judgments were influenced by self-enhancement motivation. Implications of the results for theorizing in personality and self-knowledge acquisition are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)361-391
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Personality
Volume78
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology

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