This experiment is one of several studies of first impressions (3), the purpose of the senes being to investigate the stability of early judgments, their determinants, and the relation of such judgments to the behavior of the person making them In interpreting the data from several nonexperimental studies on the stability of first impressions. It proved to be necessary to postulate inner-observer vanables which contnbute to the impression and which remain relatively constant through time Also some evidence was obtained which directly demonstrated the existence of these variables and their nature. The present expenment was designed to determine the effects of one kind of mner-ohserver variable, specifically, expectations about the stimulus person which the observer brings to the exposure situation That prior information or labels attached to a stimulus person make a difference in observers' first impressions is almost too obvious to require demonstration The expectations resulting from such preinformation may restrict, modify, or accentuate the impressions ht will have The crucial qu^tion is What changes in percepticHi will accompany a given expectation ? Studies of stereotyping, for example, that of Katz and Braly (2), indicate that from an ethnic label sitth as "German" or "Negro," a number
Journal of Personality – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 1950
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