The present experiments examined how the interaction goals of cooperation and competition affected social information processing. Study 1a and 1b evaluated whether people prefer to overestimate or underestimate another person's strengths when assessing a partner or an opponent. The findings indicated that people were inclined to underestimate how good their partners were but to overestimate how good their opponents were. In Study 2, consistent with the strategy selections from Study 1, the results showed that participants anticipating cooperation with another student remembered best information that was diagnostic of negative qualities than positive qualities. In contrast, participants expecting to compete with another student remembered best information that was diagnostic of positive qualities than negative qualities. In Study 3, participants had a chance to actively seek out information about a potential partner or opponent by selecting a subset of their behaviors to verify. The results provided a validation of the results from Study 2. The findings were discussed in terms of their implications for interpersonal and intergroup perception.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||31|
|State||Published - Oct 2002|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology