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J Pers Soc Psychol. 1998 Apr;74(4):837-48.

Spontaneous trait transference: communicators taken on the qualities they describe in others.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Ohio State University at Newark 43055, USA. skowronski.1@osu.edu

Abstract

Spontaneous trait transference occurs when communicators are perceived as possessing the very traits they describe in others. Study 1 confirmed that communicators become associated with the trait implications of their descriptions of others and that such associations persist over time. Study 2 demonstrated that these associations influence specific trait impressions of communicators. Study 3 suggested that spontaneous trait transference reflects simple associative processes that occur even when there are no logical bases for making inferences. Finally, Study 4 used more naturalistic stimuli and provided additional evidence that the phenomenon reflects mindless associations rather than logical attributions. Together these studies demonstrate that spontaneous trait transference is a reliable phenomenon that plays a previously unrecognized role in social perception and interaction.

PMID:
9569648
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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