Transference in Social Perception: The Role of Chronic Accessibility in Significant-Other Representations

Susan M. Andersen, Noah S. Glassman, Serena Chen, Steve W. Cole

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Research has shown that the activation and application of a significant-other representation to a new person, or transference, occurs in everyday social perception (S.M. Andersen & A. Baum, 1994; S.M. Andersen & S.W. Cole, 1990). Using a combined idiographic and nomothetic experimental paradigm, two studies examined the role of chronic accessibility of significant-other representations in transference. After learning about 4 fictional people, 1 of whom resembled a significant other, participants' recognition memory was assessed. Both studies showed greater false-positive memory in the significant-other condition, relative to control, even in the absence of priming. Study 2 showed that although the effect was greater when the significant-other representation was concretely applicable to the target information, it occurred even when no such applicability was present. Results implicate the chronic accessibility of significant-other representations in transference.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-57
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Volume69
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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