The Self Presenter’S Paradox: Motivated Reasoning in Impression Formation

Kim Weaver, University of Michigan
Stephen M. Garcia, University of Michigan
EXTENDED ABSTRACT - One of the most robust findings in impression formation is weighted averaging (Anderson, 1968; see Eagly & Chaiken, 1993, for a review). Although adding mildly favorable to highly favorable information increases the absolute amount of positive information, it produces lower evaluations via the weighted averaging mechanism. Past work, for instance, shows that participants give less favorable evaluations to targets possessing six positive traits, three of which are highly positive and three of which are mildly positive, than they give to targets described with only the three highly positive traits (Anderson, 1968). Mildly favorable information similarly waters down consumers’ judgments of household products. Expectant parents, for instance, gave lower ratings to car seats described as AHigh@ in Design Quality and AAbove Average@ in Convenience than they gave to car seats described only as AHigh@ in Design Quality (e.g., Troutman & Shanteau, 1976).
[ to cite ]:
Kim Weaver and Stephen M. Garcia (2005) ,"The Self Presenter’S Paradox: Motivated Reasoning in Impression Formation", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 32, eds. Geeta Menon and Akshay R. Rao, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 363-364.