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Evaluation of self-relevant information: Acceptance of favourable and unfavourable personality statements as feedback vs test items

Authors
Journal
Personality and Individual Differences
0191-8869
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
23
Issue
5
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/s0191-8869(97)00091-3

Abstract

Abstract An experiment with 71 college students was carried out to investigate how people evaluate favourable and unfavourable personality statements presented as feedback or as test items. In accord with previous research, it was found that favourable Barnum personality statements were rated more accurate than unfavourable statements and the statements were rated more accurate when presented as feedback than as test. A cognitive-response analysis of the thoughts produced when evaluating the statements showed that more confirmatory evidence was generated for favourable than unfavourable statements and in the feedback than in the test condition. Availability of confirmatory evidence accounted for the findings on accuracy ratings to a significant degree, but was not sufficient alone to explain the differences observed as a function of favourability and feedback.

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