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Taking a closer look: On the operation of nonconscious impression formation

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


<mark>Journal publication date</mark>05/2008
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
Issue number3
Number of pages10
Pages (from-to)614-623
<mark>Original language</mark>English


In this article, we analyzed the information processing that underlies nonconscious impression formation. In the first experiment, the nonconscious activation of the impression formation goal led to a faster analysis of the trait implications of behaviors, compared with a control group. In Experiment 2, participants who were nonconsciously primed with an impression formation goal were more likely than those in a control condition to form associations in memory between behaviors and implied traits. In Experiment 3, nonconsciously primed participants were more sensitive than those in a control condition to whether inconsistent trait information was relevant or irrelevant to the actor's disposition. Moreover, in Experiments 2 and 3, those with a nonconscious goal showed just as much evidence of impression formation as those who were consciously and intentionally trying to form an impression. Implications for nonconscious goal-pursuit and impression formation are discussed. (C) 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.