Recent research has demonstrated transference in social perception, defined in terms of memory and schematriggered evaluation in relation to a new person. The authors examined schema-triggered facial affect in transference, along with motivations and expectancies. In a nomothetic experimental design, participants encountered stimulus descriptors of a new target person that were derived either from their own idiographic descriptions of a positively toned or a negatively toned significant other or from a yoked control participant's descriptors. Equal numbers of positive and negative target descriptors were presented, regardless of the overall tone of the representation. The results verified the memory effect and schema-triggered evaluation in transference, on the basis of significant-other resemblance in the target person. Of importance, participants' nonverbal expression of facial affect when learning about the target person (i.e., at encoding) reflected the overall tone of their significantother representation under the condition of significantother resemblance, providing strong support for schematriggered affect in transference, through the use of this unobtrusive, nonverbal measure. Parallel effects on interpersonal closeness motivation and expectancies for acceptance/rejection in transference also emerged.
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