A hybrid paradigm for testing spontaneous trait inferences with fewer experimental trials

Timothy C McCall, Purdue University


Popular paradigms for exploring spontaneous trait inference (STI) do not allow for measurement with only a couple of individuals. In these paradigms, STIs are investigated with large numbers of individuals, limiting utility for small group impression formation work. A new paradigm is proposed that is a hybrid of previous methods by employing elements of the savings and false recognition paradigms. Participants were presented with behavioral descriptions of target individuals (which implied a trait) and attempted to associate many trait terms with each before indicating whether a behaviorally implied trait was present in the list of traits. False photo-cued recognition of description-congruent traits that were not in present indicated spontaneous trait inference. This new paradigm allows investigation of STIs in dyadic and triadic settings.




Carlston, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Social psychology

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