The person reference process in spontaneous trait inferences

Alexander Todorov, James S. Uleman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Five studies examined whether spontaneous trait inferences uniquely reference the person who performed a trait-implying behavior. On each study trial in 5 studies, participants saw 2 faces and a behavioral sentence referring to one of them. Later, participants saw face-trait pairs and indicated whether they had seen the trait word in the sentence presented with the face. Participants falsely recognized implied traits more when these traits were paired with actors' faces than with control faces. This effect was replicated for a large set of faces (120), after a week delay between study and recognition test, when equal attention was paid to each face, and when the orientation of the face at recognition was different from the orientation at encoding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)482-493
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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