Person Memory: The Cognitive Basis of Social Perception

Person Memory: The Cognitive Basis of Social Perception

Person Memory: The Cognitive Basis of Social Perception

Person Memory: The Cognitive Basis of Social Perception

Excerpt

In the summer of 1974, five authors of this volume met at a 3-week workshop on Mathematical Approaches to Person Perception at the University of California, San Diego. The workshop was designed by Norman Anderson and Seymour Rosenberg to promote the development of formal models for the process of impression formation and for long-term social knowledge structures. One explicit goal of the workshop was to explore connections between Anderson's algebraic process models of information integration and Rosenberg's geometric structural models of implicit personality theory.

The living accommodations at the workshop were ideal for informal, afterhours discussions. Although we had known one another casually before this time, these late evening conversations allowed each of us to explore more fully the research aims and theoretical dispositions of the others. At that time we were just beginning to appreciate the relevance of the cognitive processing methods and theory for traditional problems of impression formation and person perception. We were dissatified with past approaches, feeling that they had run their course, and we were eager to search out new research strategies that would focus on the dynamic processes involved in impression organization.

In the years since 1974, we began meeting to discuss the new research directions we each, individually, were exploring in our laboratories. A mutual interest emerged in the development of cognitive information processing metaphors for human thought and their application to problems of social perception, memory, and judgment. Within the context of modern research on social cognition, the most distinctive aspects of our work are its empirical focus on how people cognitively represent people in memory, and its theoretical emphasis on models of cognitive organization and process. In a sense, we had concluded that an adequate theory of social memory was the . . .

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