The motivated tactician's juggling act: Compatible vs. incompatible impression goals

Janet B. Ruscher, Susan T. Fiske, Sherry B. Schnake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


This study examines how perceivers negotiate multiple, and sometimes incompatible, impression formation goals. Previous research typically presents perceivers with a single impression goal (e.g. accuracy, supporting preferred beliefs), and does not consider how perceivers juggle multiple goals. The processes of perceivers with multiple compatible goals should show uncomplicated impression formation processes, that is, strategic use of particular target attributes (e.g. negative) that suit their purposes. Perceivers with incompatible goals, in contrast, should be less selective, and form more complex impressions that reflect all types of attributes. In this experiment, perceivers with compatible goals paid less attention to target attributes, systematically biased their interpretation of those attributes, and ultimately formed less complex impressions than individuals with incompatible goals. How multiple impression goals are prioritized is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-256
Number of pages16
JournalBritish Journal of Social Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology


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