Impression Formation Study

Topics: Arithmetic mean, Mean, Standard deviation Pages: 4 (1231 words) Published: March 22, 2013

This report is based on impression formation. A study was conducted to see if the order of information presented about a hypothetical person to a participant has an effect on their impression final first impression of that person. Participants from London Metropolitan University (80 participants) were put into two groups, in which they were asked to rate their impression of a hypothetical person with a list of given adjectives (positive and negative), first they are given words that describe this hypothetical person, the describing words were identical, just presented in different orders, depending on which one (of the two) groups the participant was placed in. It was found that a more positive opinion was described for the hypothetical person in which the participants heard positive to negative adjectives compared to that of the negative to positive adjectives.


A topic that has been explored in psychology is how people come up with first impressions, and what information is important to help form impressions. The question asked here was simply; how do people form impressions of theirs based on limited information. The founder of research into this field was Asch (1946), who was worried about the principles behind forming impressions. Asch (1946) conducted a study where, he had two groups, in which both were given lists of words in different orders according to which group the participants were assigned to. Asch found that the group given the positive words followed by the negative words developed a more positive first impression than the group who received the words negative words then given the positive words. He concluded that the first words are the words that are most important and are the traits that are remembered this is called the primacy effect. However other research shows that the primacy effect isn’t always the one remembered, and the most recent (recency effect) adjectives may be the adjectives that influence the...
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