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Mental construal and the emergence of assimilation and contrast effects: the inclusion/exclusion model

Archived Abstract of Former PSC Researcher

Bless, H., and Norbert Schwarz. 2010. "Mental construal and the emergence of assimilation and contrast effects: the inclusion/exclusion model." In Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, Vol 42. 42:319-373.

The inclusion/exclusion model provides an integrative framework for conceptualizing the emergence of assimilation and contrast effects in evaluative judgment. The model assumes that feature-based evaluative judgments require a mental representation of the object of judgment (target) and of a standard to which the target is compared. Both representations are context sensitive and based on the information that is most accessible at the time. The way in which accessible information influences the judgment depends on how it is used. Information that is used in forming a representation of the target results in assimilation effects; information that is used in forming a representation of the standard results in contrast effects. How information is used depends on (i) individuals' beliefs about whether the information was brought to mind by some irrelevant influence, (ii) the information's perceived representativeness for the target, and (iii) conversational norms that influence the perceived appropriateness of information use. We summarize the core assumptions of the inclusion/exclusion model, review empirical evidence bearing on it, and highlight its integrative nature.

DOI:10.1016/s0065-2601(10)42006-7 (Full Text)

ISBN: 0065-2601

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