We conducted two experiments to examine the effects of an ordered recall strategy (i.e., recall everything about one target before attempting to recall information about a different target) on person memory. In the first experiment, subjects received information about two individuals with the goal of either forming separate impressions of each individual, or of forming an overall impression of the dyad. As expected, an ordered recall strategy resulted in poorer memory for the person recalled second when an overall impression was formed, but not when separate impressions were formed. In the second experiment, subjects received information about a single individual with the goal of either forming impressions of the individual on as many traits as seemed relevant, or an overall impression of the individual. Consistent with the first experiment, subjects in the unitary impression condition recalled fewer behaviors for the second trait prompt than for the first trait prompt. We discuss the implications of these results for memory-based social judgments, and for the way mental representations of others are formed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science