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Of Nice and Mean: The Personal Relevance of Others' Competence Drives Perceptions of Warmth.

Authors
  • Carrier, Antonin1
  • Dompnier, Benoît2
  • Yzerbyt, Vincent1
  • 1 Catholic University of Louvain at Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium. , (Belgium)
  • 2 University of Lausanne, Switzerland. , (Switzerland)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Personality & social psychology bulletin
Publication Date
Nov 01, 2019
Volume
45
Issue
11
Pages
1549–1562
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1177/0146167219835213
PMID: 30885051
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Past research shows that when forming an impression of an interdependent person, perceivers are motivated to look for information relevant to their goals and interests. The present experiments examined what happens after this information-seeking stage and showed that the relevance of the target's attributes for one's goals and interests drives warmth impressions. Using both a scenario (Experiment 1) and realistic methodologies (Experiment 3), we showed that when the perceiver had to collaborate with a target, the more competent the target, the more perceivers anticipated success and the more the target came across as warm. By contrast, in a competition setting, the competence of the target negatively affected prospects of success and impressions of warmth. Experiment 2 further showed that the target's competence drove warmth impressions only when perceivers attached a great value to the success of the task, suggesting that these inferences have a motivational underpinning.

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