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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2008 Apr;94(4):579-99. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.94.4.579.

The effect of global versus local processing styles on assimilation versus contrast in social judgment.

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Universiteit van Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


The authors propose a global/local processing style model (GLOMO) for assimilation and contrast effects in social judgment. GLOMO is based on Schwarz and Bless' (1992, 2007) inclusion-exclusion model, which suggests that when information is included into a category, assimilation occurs, whereas when information is excluded from a category, contrast occurs. According to GLOMO, inclusion versus exclusion should be influenced by whether people process information globally or locally. In 5 experiments, using both disambiguation and social comparison, the authors induced local versus global processing through perceptual tasks and time perspective and showed that global processing produced assimilation, whereas local processing produced contrast. The experiments showed that processing styles elicited in one task can carry over to other tasks and influence social judgments. Furthermore, they found that hemisphere activation and accessibility of judgment-consistent knowledge partially mediated these effects. Implications for current and classic models of social judgment are discussed.

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