Relationship Between Attributional Style, Information Valence, Likability, And Need For Cognitive Closure
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The Relationship between Attributional Style, Information Valence, Likability, and Need for Cognitive Closure
Impression formation is the process of putting together individual pieces of information about a person to form a whole impression (Rosenthal-Stott, Dicks, & Fielding, 2015). Research on first impressions is imperative; when meeting someone for the first time, people always wants to make a lasting, respectable first impression that is free of ambiguity. Attributional style, whether someone is a pessimist or optimist, plays an important role in people’s perceived likability of others (Goodmon, Kelly, Mauldin, & Young, 2015). The valence of information disclosed has a significant impact on impression formation (Collins & Miller,…show more content… Pessimists are more likely to associate negative events to the individual, rather than the situation, while optimists will associate positive events to the individual. The way pessimists and optimists associate events to an individual can affect how they form impressions of others. Once individuals form a negative impression, it is very hard to modify (Hargie, 2006; Mann & Ferguson, 2015). This might be because once people hear negative information, they have a very difficult time setting the information aside and listening to new evidence (Hargie & Dickson, 2004). We pay more attention to negative information, and upon hearing said information, demonstrate confirmation bias by ignoring contradictory information, even if it is positive (Hargie, 2006).
Research performed by Goodmon, Kelly, Mauldin & Young (2015) found that pessimists, on average, give a lower likability score than optimists to an individual who is responsible for a certain event, regardless of the event’s nature. Goodmon, Kelly, Mauldin, and Young (2015) gave participants a script that dialogued a conversation between an advisor and advisee. The advisee (student) reveals a prior academic incident that is either positive (winning a scholarship to study abroad) or negative (getting kicked out of school for plagiarism). Following the scripts, the participants rate the advisee on a Reysen Likability Scale. Their attributional style is