Jumping to negative impressions again: The role of pessimism, information valence, and need for cognitive closure in impression formation

Date
2017-12
Authors
Goodmon, Leilani B.
Howard, Jordan R.
Hintz, Bethany D.
Alden, Brittany L.
Vadala, Meghan E.
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
North American Journal of Psychology
Abstract
The study was designed to determine the relationship between likability of a target, information valence, attributional style (optimism/pessimism), and the need for cognitive closure, which is an individual’s desire for a definite answer to a question, the avoidance of ambiguity, and the demonstration of closed mindedness (Chirumbolo, Areni, & Sensales, 2004; Webster & Kruglanski, 1994). Ninety-eight participants read a script that depicted a first-time conversation between a student and an advisor where the student disclosed either a positive or negative academic incident (as a manipulation of information valence). Pessimists gave similar likability ratings to the positive incident target, as optimists gave to the negative incident target, thus replicating the finding that it is more difficult to make a good first impression on a pessimist, even if one reveals responsibility for something positive (Goodmon, Kelly, Mauldin, & Young, 2015). Optimistic participants gave higher ratings to positive incident targets than to negative targets, regardless of the level of need for cognitive closure. However, only high need, pessimistic participants gave higher ratings to positive incident targets. The results imply that one may have a more difficult time making a good first impression on a pessimist who has a high need for cognitive closure. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)
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Keywords
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES::Social sciences::Psychology
Citation
Goodmon, L. B., Howard, J. R., Hintz, B. D., Alden, B. L., & Vadala, M. E. (2017). Jumping to negative impressions again: The role of pessimism, information valence, and need for cognitive closure in impression formation. North American Journal of Psychology, 19(3), 745–768.
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