A connectionist model of spontaneous trait inference and spontaneous trait transference: Do they have the same underlying processes?

Diana Orghian, Leonel Garcia-Marques, James S. Uleman, Dietmar Heinke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Spontaneous trait inference (STI) and trait transference (STT) refer to the inference of personality traits from behaviors. In STI the inferred trait is attached to the actor, and in STT it is attached to a communicator. Two different explanations are currently discussed in the literature regarding their underlying processes. One claims that a single associative process is responsible for both, and the second postulates an associative process for STT and an attributional process for STI. Here we propose that a dual-processing model is not necessary to account for the empirical data regarding STI and STT. Through a simple connectionist model, based on associative learning, we simulated the four major findings that distinguish STI from STT. Suggestions are made about what kind of evidence would be necessary to consider a dualistic view, and a broader use of this approach applied to dualistic versus single processing disputes is also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-66
Number of pages47
JournalSocial Cognition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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