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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 20431

Warning: This library includes all items relevant to health product marketing that we are aware of regardless of quality. Often we do not agree with all or part of the contents.


Publication type: Journal Article

Fiedler K, Armbruster T, Nickel S, Walther E, Asbeck J.
Constructive biases in social judgment: experiments on the self-verification of question contents.
J Pers Soc Psychol 1996; 71:(5):861-73


Merely thinking about a proposition can increase its subjective truth, even when it is initially denied. Propositions may trigger inferences that depend not on evidence for truth but only on the semantic match with relevant knowledge. In a series of experiments, participants were presented with questions implying positive or negative judgments of discussants in a videotaped talk show. Subsequent ratings were biased toward the question contents, even when the judges themselves initially denied the questions. However, this constructive bias is subject to epistemic constraints. Judgments were biased only when knowledge about the target’s role (active agent vs. passive recipient role) was matched by the semantic-linguistic implications of propositions (including action verbs vs. state verbs).

Adult Female Humans Internal-External Control Interpersonal Relations Judgment* Male Personality Assessment* Prejudice* Semantics Social Perception*


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