The efficiency of binding spontaneous trait inferences to actors' faces

Alexander Todorov, James S. Uleman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Three experiments tested the hypothesis that the process of binding spontaneous trait inferences (STIs) to actors' representations is relatively independent of attentional resources. Participants were presented with faces paired with single behaviors. Binding of STIs to actors was revealed by a higher false recognition of implied traits paired with actors' faces than of implied traits randomly paired with other familiar faces. This effect replicated when each face-behavior pair was presented for 2 s (Experiment 1), when the processing of the information was shallow (Experiment 2), and when participants performed a secondary task during the presentation of behaviors (Experiment 3). Experiment 4 showed that explicit on-line trait judgments of the actor, but not explicit behavior judgments, predicted the false recognition of implied traits in the context of the actor. The possibility that the process of binding STIs to actors' representations is automatic is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)549-562
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Volume39
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2003

Keywords

  • Automaticity
  • False recognition
  • Person representations
  • Spontaneous trait inferences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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