Structural models for the mediation of salience effects on attribution

Susan T. Fiske, David A. Kenny, Shelley E. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

73 Scopus citations

Abstract

Previous research has demonstrated that salient information is overrepresented in causal attributions. Two experiments were conducted to investigate potential mediators for this effect and to make a case for the use of structural models in explanations of process. Two mediators were considered: enhanced visual recall of salient stimuli and exaggerated schema-relevant recall of salient stimuli. Although analyses of variance supported the visual recall model, structural analyses demonstrated its implausibility. Analyses of variance and structural models revealed that schema-relevant recall, that is, information seen as representative of causal influence, is a plausible mediator; this was particularly true of relevant visual information. Results suggest that salience effects (S. E. Taylor & S. T. Fiske in L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 11). New York: Academic Press, 1978) are due to: (a) the attentional advantage of inherently salient visual events and (b) the influence of stored visual and nonvisual schema-relevant information on causal judgments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-127
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Volume18
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1982
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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