The Psychology of Prejudice

By Mark P. Zanna; James M. Olson | Go to book overview
pectancy influences under circumstances of multiple goals. More specifically, to the extent that an interactant focuses resources on one goal, he or she necessarily is less able to implement effectively other goals. In such cases, one would predict the posited default processes to occur in the goal domains relatively neglected by the interactant, leading to expectancy biases in these domains (for similar discussions within other contexts, see Baumeister et al., 1989; Gilbert, Krull, & Pelham, 1988; Lord & Saenz, 1985; Saenz & Lord, 1989).No existing data directly address this issue, although some findings from the Neuberg ( 1989) study are suggestive. Most important, although the accuracy- driven interviewers demonstrated a lack of expectancy bias in their information- gathering behaviors, they nonetheless revealed an expectancy bias in their cognitive processing of the applicants' behaviors. One interpretation of this finding is that the interviewers' focus on information gathering left them with few remaining resources for the cognitive impression-formation task; as a consequence, these perceivers were compelled to adopt expectancy-biased default processes in this latter domain. Thus, although a particular goal may serve to eliminate expectancy-based biases in one behavioral or cognitive domain, its implementation may ironically increase the likelihood of expectancy-based biases in another.
Summary
Up to this point, I elaborated on previous theoretical and empirical work, providing a motivational framework for understanding the behavioral and cognitive dynamics of expectancy-tinged dyadic social interactions (see Fig. 5.1.). The present conceptualization is highly interactional, focusing not only on the abilities of both participants to influence each other throughout the encounter but also on the dynamic interplay of expectancies, motives, resources, and cognitive processing occurring within each participant.Four fundamental premises shape the proposed framework, emphasizing the critical role that social motives play in moderating expectancy-confirmation processes. These premises, when employed as an integrated set of guiding principles, are proposed to enable reasonably precise predictions regarding the outcomes of expectancy-tinged encounters:
1. Perceiver impression-formation goals moderate the influence of perceiver expectancies on perceiver impressions by moderating the impact that these expectancies have on perceiver information-gathering behaviors and attentional and interpretational processes.
2. Perceiver self-presentational goals moderate the influence of perceiver expectancies on perceiver impressions by moderating the impact that these expectancies have on perceiver expressive behaviors, information- gathering behaviors, and attentional and interpretational processes.

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