Familiar others as reference points in judgments of traits
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Experiment provided evidence for the recruitment of social exemplars as reference points in judgments of traits. Making a judgment regarding one target-person facilitated making the same judgment regarding the other. As predicted this was more the case when the two targets were of the same sex and similar age (category-specific priming) then when they were not (cross-category priming). Both the category-specific and the cross-category priming effects appeared less consistently for self than for other social exemplars. Also, consistently with our model, both effects were facilitated by focusing on attribute-centered rather than on person-centered mental representations, particularly when the target of the priming task was relatively unfamiliar and the target of the test task was highly familiar.
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