The primacy and recency effect relate to the order in which we learn things. Primacy effect in relation to attitude formation is an attitude shaped on primary information learned (such as on first impressions). Recency effect is the things we see/experience most recently and is thought to have less impact than the primacy effect (Luchins 1957). We are more likely as humans to remember what we saw first than what we saw last. It is thought that we form our first impressions of someone within the first eleven seconds of meeting them. The order in which we learn things about someone impacts our attitude formations. Luchins (1957) said that time can change the impact of these effects. He conducted a study known as 'Impressions of Jim. This study tested the primacy and recency effects and provided evidence of the primacy effect. However, Luchins did find that if a space of time was involved between the primary information and the recent information then the recency effect could over ride the primacy effect. He said that the recency effect was important but not as important as the primacy effect (Silka 1989). Central traits are also said to affect attitude formation. Kelley (1950) found that central traits are more important to us when building first impressions during the substitute teacher study. Kelley found that using words such as 'warm' or 'cold' to describe someone can affect the way that people behave towards the described person. Being a 'cold' or 'warm' person is known as a central trait. Grouping traits around the central traits is known as the halo effect. This is believing that people have other traits such as being 'friendly' because they are considered a 'warm' person. It is thought that we judge people who have even just one good central trait on being a good person despite their peripheral traits. This is the same for having a bad central trait. We judge them as bad as we assume they possess other bad traits that we associate with the bad central trait. (Gross, 2013) The graph below shows that the percentage of things recalled is greater at the beginning and the end than in the middle. This is the primacy and recency effect.
(Heiman, Unknown date)
The English Oxford Dictionary define a stereotype as 'A widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing'. Fiske (2004) says that stereotypes represent one specific kind of schema. There are many different types of stereotypes such as gender; racial; class; age; sexuality ect. Stereotyping is thought of as a cognitive process where we categorise people and assume that people in this category share the same characteristics and personality traits. It is thought to be a normal cognitive process that everyone goes through. It is believed that stereotypes have both social and cognitive functions within society. Lippmann (1922) claimed that stereotyping helps us make sense of the very complex world in which we live. As humans we can be quite lazy and like things to be simple so it is thought that we use stereotypes as a reductionist way to simplify and process information. Chimanda Adichi (2009) said that stereotyping is a result of a 'single story we have created in our minds'. This supports the idea that our minds are reductionist. (Gross 2013; Adichi 2009) Socially stereotypes are thought to be shared by members of a group and make groups distinct. Stereotypes are said be a way of the in-groups controlling and influencing the out-groups in society. In-groups are the groups that the positive attributes are assigned to and out-groups are the group that the negative attributes are assigned to. People believe that the out-group success is due to external reasons where as the in-groups success is due to internal reasons. This suggests that stereotyping has a polarising effect in society keeping the in-groups separate from the out-groups. Brislin (1993) claims that...
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