Anderson, C.A. (1995). 

Implicit personality theories and empirical data: Biased assimilation, belief perseverance and change, and covariation detection sensitivity. 

Social Cognition, 13, 25-48.


A laboratory experiment examined the effects of prior implicit personality theories and new empirical data on judgments about those new data and on final implicit personality theories. New data were presented to college student participants in scatterplot form. Results yielded strong evidence of biased assimilation in the judgments of the new data. That is, judgments of new data were systematically biased in the direction of prior implicit personality theories. However, judgments were also very sensitive to the covariation strength of new data. Finally, both prior theories and new data influenced final beliefs, providing evidence for both perseverance and change of initial beliefs. Discussion focuses on the conditions under which biased assimilation is likely to occur and on the conditions under which such biases constitute reasonable ways to deal with uncertainty.

 © 1995 by the Guilford Press, Inc.

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