1st Edition

Social Cognition, Inference, and Attribution

By R. S. Wyer, Jr., D. E. Carlston Copyright 1979
    400 Pages
    by Psychology Press

    First published in 1979.This book developed out of a series of general discussions between the authors on research and theory in person perception and attribution phenomena. During the course of this discussion, two things became clear. First, many of the traditional approaches to investigating these phenomena, made popular during the past decade by the advent of algebraic models of information integration, were not providing answers to several fundamental questions concerning the manner in which social stimulus information is interpreted, organized, and stored in memory, and the factors that affect its retrieval and use in making judgments of the people and events to which it is relevant. Second, many fundamental issues associated with the processing of social stimulus information were relevant to phenomena investigated in a variety of traditionally segregated areas (e.g., impression formation, attribution, social comparison, interpersonal attraction, belief and opinion change, etc.). However, these commonalities were rarely identified. This appeared to result from a tendency to focus on micro-theoretical formulations developed to account for a circumscribed set of phenomena, without considering these phenomena within a broader conceptual framework. This book is an attempt to respond to these various deficiencies.

    PART I: INTRODUCTION 1. Overview and Basic Concepts PART II: BASIC PROCESSES IN SOCIAL INFERENCE 2. Scripts, Schemata and Implicational Molecules: A Conceptualization of Complex Information Processing 3. A Preliminary Model of Person Memory 4. The Encoding of Information and Its Effects on Recall and Inference Making PART III: IDENTIFYING THE IMPLICATIONS OF INFORMATION FOR JUDGMENTS 5. Characteristics of Information that Affect Its Perceived Implications 6. Indirect Effects of Information on Judgments 7. The Role of Syllogistic Reasoning in Inferences Based Upon New and Old Information PART IV: INTEGRATION PROCESSES 8. Algebraic Inference Processes 9. Generalization Processes 10. Epilogue


    Robert S. Wyer, Jr. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; DONAL E. Carlston University of Iowa