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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science
- False recognition
- Person representations
- Spontaneous trait inferences