10. The impression would accordingly be derived from the separate interaction of the components, which might be represented as follows: It is important to note that this formulation is in a fundamental regard different from Proposition II. Though the issue of individual differences is unquestionably important, it seemed desirable to turn first to those processes which hold generally, despite individual differences. Asch’s seminal research on “Forming Impressions of Personality” (1946) has widely been cited as providing evidence for a primacy-of-warmth effect, suggesting that warmth-related judgments have a stronger influence on impressions of personality than competence-related judgments (e.g., Fiske, Cuddy, & Glick, 2007; Wojciszke, 2005). The uriity perceived by the observer contains groupings the parts of which are in more intimate connection with each other than they are with parts of other groupings. All subjects in the following experiments, of whom there were over 1,000, fulfilled the task in the manner described. I can conceive of the two sets of characteristics in one person, but I cannot conceive of my impressions of them as belonging to one person. Without exception, "quick" is perceived to spring from skill (skillful->quick); but the vector in Set 2 is reversed, "clumsy" becoming a consequence of speed (clumsy<-quick). We have said that central qualities determine the content and functional value of peripheral qualities. Impression formation is thus, a natural tendency when we tend to arrive at suitable, ample and meaningful cognition. In this connection we may refer to certain observations of Kohler (6, p. 234) concerning our understanding of feelings in others which we have not observed in ourselves, or in the absence of relevant previous experiences. A proper study of individual differences can best be pursued when a minimum theoretical clarification has been reached. What requires explanation is how a term, and a highly "subjective" one at that, refers so consistently to so wide a region of personal qualities. In terms of Proposition II the character of interaction is determined by the particular qualities that enter into the relation (e.g., "warm-witty" or "cold-witty"). Lists A and B were read to two separate groups (including 38 and 41 subjects respectively). The meaning of the other words in this list also change in the majority of subjects between list A and list B. Some are felt to be basic, others secondary. Let us briefly reformulate the main points in the procedure of our subjects: 1. Asch conducted many experiments in which he asked participants to form an impression of a hypothetical person based on several characteristics said to belong to them. Under such conditions we might discover an improvement in the quality of judgment and in agreement between judges. A very ambitious and talented person who would not let anyone or anything stand in the way of achieving his goal. On this assumption the addition or omission of peripheral qualities should have smaller effects than those observed in Experiment I. Asch rejected this line of thinking in favor of the gestalt principle that people were more than the … Most subjects describe a change in one or more of the traits, of which the following are representative: In A impulsive grew out of imaginativeness; now it has more the quality of hastiness. In later experiments too we have found a strong trend to reach out toward evaluations which were not contained in the original description. Some qualities are seen as a dynamic outgrowth of determining qualities. A. Solomon Asch (1946) - Viewed impression formation from a Gestaltist Perspective. It is of interest for the theory of our problem that there are terms which simultaneously contain implications for wide regions of the person. The choice of similar sets cannot in this case be determined merely on the basis of the number of "identical elements," for on this criterion Sets 2 and 3 are equally similar to 1, while Sets 1 and 4 are equally similar to 2. A remarkably wide range of qualities is embraced in the dimension "warm-cold." When the subject hears the first term, a broad, uncrystallized but directed impression is born. The child who wishes to cheat but is afraid does not belong in the honest category, while the child who cannot bear to leave the wrong answer uncorrected does not necessarily deserve to be called dishonest. A very dynamic man. The following series are read, each to a different group: A. intelligent—industrious—impulsive—critical— stubborn—envious, B. envious—stubborn—critical—impulsive—industrious—intelligent. But more pertinent to our present discussion is the modified form in which Proposition I is applied to the actual forming of an impression. In the views formed of living persons past experience plays a great role. Industriousness becomes more self-centered. Upon the conclusion of the experiments, the subjects were asked to state the reason for their choice of one predominant direction in their characterizations. More particularly, Series A opens with qualities of high merit (intelligent— industrious), proceeds to qualities that permit of a better or poorer evaluation (impulsive — critical — stubborn), and closes with a dubious quality (envious). 3 takes his time in a deliberate way; 4 would like to work quickly, but cannot— there is something painful in his slowness. Ill (with F. K. Shuttleworth), Studies in the organization of character, 1930. He was intrigued how we are able to easily form impressions of humans even though we have such complex structures. The quality slow is, in person 3, something deliberately cultivated, in order to attain a higher order of skill. formed, an impression must be formed first (Asch, 1946; Hamilton & Zanna, 1974; Klimmt, Hartmann, & Schramm, 2006). We turn now to an investigation of some conditions which determine similarity and difference between personal qualities. With this point we shall deal more explicitly in the experiments to follow. It may be of interest to relate the assumptions underlying the naive procedure of our subjects to certain customary formulations, (1) It should now be clear that the subjects express certain definite assumptions concerning the structure of a personality. For Proposition II, the general impression is not a factor added to the particular traits, but rather the perception of a particular form of relation between the traits, a conception which is wholly missing in Ia. A new group (N=24) heard Series B, wrote the free sketch, and immediately thereafter wrote the sketch in response to Series A. The two terms are basically the same, for both would execute their tasks with their individual maximum speed. We are concerned with the synonyms given to the two final terms. Indeed, the very possibility of grasping the meaning of a trait presupposes that it had been observed and understood. These subjects speak in very general terms, as: These characteristics are possessed by everyone in some degree or other. This we may illustrate with the example of a geometrical figure such as a pyramid, each part of which (e.g., the vertex) implicitly refers to the entire figure. The Asch Impression-Formation Paradigm Actually, the study of person perception began before 1954, with the work of Solomon Asch (1946). Similar reactions occur in Group B, but with changed frequencies. Asch’s seminal research on “Forming Impressions of Personality” (1946) has widely been cited as providing evidence for a primacy-of-warmth effect, suggesting that warmth-related judgments have a stronger influence on impressions of personality than competence-related judgments (e.g., Fiske, Cuddy, & Glick, 2007; Wojciszke, 2005). The list of characteristics given to each group are listed below: Group A: intelligent-skillful-industrious-warm-determined-practical-cautious, Group B: intelligent-skillful-industrious-cold-determined-practical-cautious. He was warm only when it worked in with his scheme to get others over to his side. There is involved an understanding of necessary consequences following from certain given characteristics for others. In different ways the observations have demonstrated that forming an impression is an organized process; that characteristics are perceived in their dynamic relations; that central qualities are discovered, leading to the distinction between them and peripheral qualities; that relations of harmony and contradiction are observed. We turn to this question in the following experiment. The instructions were to write down synonyms for the given terms. The comments of the subjects are in agreement with the present interpretation. We propose now to observe in a more direct and extreme manner the formation of a global impression. He possesses a sense of humor. Forming Impressions of Personality A Replication and Review of Asch's (1946) Evidence for a Primacy-of-Warmth Effect in Impression Formation May 2014 Social Psychology 45(3):153 Likely to succeed in things he intends to do. Further, the relations of the terms to one another have not been disturbed, as they may have been in Experiments I and II, with the addition and omission of parts. Psych, Forsch., 1926, 7, 81-136. While we may speak of relativity in the functional value of a trait within a person, in a deeper sense we have here the opposite of relativity. He was intrigued how we are able to easily form impressions of humans even though we have such complex structures. We could speak of traits as "conditioned verbal reactions," each of which possesses a particular "strength" and range of generalization. However, we perceive someone who is quick and skillful and slow as skillful as being more similar and sharing the quality of being more of an expert. Central Traits: Main traits that impact our analysis of other traits and elicit different perceptions of other traits The reasons given were highly uniform: the two sets of traits seemed entirely contradictory. Series A starts with good qualities and ends with bad qualities while the reverse is true for Series B. New York: Holt, 1937. He does not change because he is indifferent to the grade. We ask: Are certain qualities constantly central? The first person's gaiety comes from fullness of life; 2 is gay because he knows no belter. As before, we reversed the succession of terms. We see a person as consisting not of these and those independent traits (or of the sum of mutually modified traits), but we try to get at the root of the personality. His submissiveness may lead people to think he is kind and warm. If they proceeded in this way the traits would remain abstract, lacking just the content and function which makes them living traits. This chapter traces Asch’s legacy to the present and describes the strange independence of ... 54 A Brief History of Theory and Research on Impression Formation mind . Early Research on Impression Formation; Research on Impression Formation Before Social Cognition; Updating Enduring Research Traditions from Pre-1970. What factors may be said to determine the decisions with regard to similarity and difference? The total group results are, however, largely a statistical artifact. J. soc. If traits were perceived separately, we would expect to encounter the same difficulties in forming a view of a person that we meet in learning a list of unrelated words. Great skill gave rise to the speed of 1, whereas 2 is clumsy because he does everything so quickly. • Those who saw the first group of adjectives usually form a more positive impression of the person. The person seemed to be a mass of contradictions. They were instructed to form an impression corresponding to the entire list of terms. Possibly this is a consequence of the thinness of the impression, which responds easily to slight changes. That he is stubborn and impulsive may be due to the fact that he knows what he is saying and what he means and will not therefore give in easily to someone else's idea which he disagrees with. That experience enters in these instances as a necessary factor seems clear, but the statement would be misleading if we did not add that the possibility of such experience itself presupposes a capacity to observe and realize the qualities and dynamic relations here described. He is impatient at people who are less gifted, and ambitious with those who stand in his way. The following protocols are illustrative: These persons' reactions to stimuli are both quick, even though the results of their actions are in opposite directions. Negative characteristics hardly intrude. 4 Research on Impression Formation Hindsight is 20/20, they say derisively. Twenty-eight out of 30 subjects call "unaggressive" different in the two series. He is unsuccessful because he is weak and allows his bad points to cover up his good ones. He makes his conclusions from the qualitative data he has, limited by the methodology of his time. Dynamic consequences are grasped in the interaction of qualities. Here we may mention a more general point. First impressions were established as more important than subsequent impressions in forming an overall impression of someone. This was the tenor of most statements. Psychologically, none of these acts are correctly classified. For the sake of brevity of presentation we state the results for the positive term in each pair; the reader may determine the percentage of choices for the other term in each pair by subtracting the given figure from 100. The impression also develops effortlessly. In response to the question, "Did you experience difficulty in forming an impression on the basis of the six terms," the majority of Group 1 (32 out of 52) replied in the affirmative. The gaiety of 1 is active and energetic; the gaiety of 2 is passive. They are both quick, but they differ in the success of their actions. ), 9. It seems similarly unfruitful to call these judgments stereotypes. The latter formulations are true, but they fail to consider the qualitative process of mutual determination between traits, namely, that a central trait determines the content and the functional place of peripheral traits within the entire impression. The accounts of the subjects diverge from each other in important respects. 1 knows when to be gay and when not to be. I had seen the two sets of characteristics as opposing each other. Nineteen out of 20 subjects judge the term to be different in Sets 1 and 2; 17 out of 20 judge it to be different in Sets 3 and 4. It should be of interest to the psychologist that the far more complex task of grasping the nature of a person is so much less difficult. Therefore, the number of cases on which the figures are based is not always identical; however, the fluctuations were minor, with the exception of the category "good-looking— unattractive," which a larger proportion of subjects failed to answer. In view of the fact that we possess no principles in this region to help in their systematic construction, it was necessary to invent groupings of traits. The following are typical responses in the first subgroup: I couldn't combine the personalities of A and B. I formed an entirely new impression. He tends to be skeptical. I excluded it because the other characteristics which fitted together so well were so much more predominant. In most instances the warmth of this person is felt to lack sincerity, as appears in the following protocols: I assumed the person to appear warm rather than really to be warm. I, Studies in deceit, 1928; Vol. This man does not seem so bad as the first one. In terms of an interaction theory of component elements, the difficulty in surveying a person should be even greater than in the formulation of Proposition I, since the former must deal with the elements of the latter plus a large number of added factors. The procedure was identical with that of Experiment I, except that the terms "warm" and "cold" were omitted from the list read to the subject (intelligent - skillful - industrious - determined – practical - cautious). As a consequence, the quality "calm" was not the same under the two experimental conditions. In order to retain a necessary distinction between the process of forming an impression and the actual organization of traits in a person, we have spoken as if nothing were known of the latter. 2) The change in the meaning of the characteristic is determined by its relationship with other characteristics. This statement expresses for our problem a principle formulated in gestalt theory with regard to the identity of parts in different structures (8, 10). . . In another central experiment, Asch presented participants with four groups of characteristics. However as time went by, his acquaintances would easily come to see through the mask. All traits do not have the same rank and value in the final impression.