"Do I Know You?"

The Role of Significant Others in General Social Perception

Susan M. Andersen, Steve W. Cole

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This research used an idiographic method to examine the proposition that significant others are mentally represented as well-organized person categories that can influence social perception even more than representations of nonsignificant others, stereotypes, or traits. Together, Studies 1 and 2 showed that significant-other representations are richer, more distinctive, and more cognitively accessible than the other categories. Study 3 replicated the accessibility data and gauged inferential power by indirectly activating each category in a learning trial about a fictional person and then testing recognition memory. The results showed that participants made more category-consistent false-positive errors about targets who activated significant others vs. any other category. This constitutes the first experimental demonstration of transference and has implications both for social categorization and for basic personality processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)384-399
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Volume59
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1990

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Social Perception
social cognition
Personality
Learning
Research
transference
human being
stereotype
personality
learning
Recognition (Psychology)
Power (Psychology)
Transference (Psychology)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Psychology

Cite this

"Do I Know You?" : The Role of Significant Others in General Social Perception. / Andersen, Susan M.; Cole, Steve W.

In: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 59, No. 3, 09.1990, p. 384-399.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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