Processing objectives as a determinant of the relationship between recall and judgment

Meryl Lichtenstein, Thomas K. Srull

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


One aspect of person perception research that has been problematic for many theories is that there is often little correspondence between judgments that are made of a person and specific facts that can be recalled about that person. A model is presented that suggests this type of low correspondence is to be expected whenever evaluations of the person are spontaneously formed at the time relevant information is acquired. However, a relatively strong correspondence between the judgments that are made and the facts that can be recalled is expected when such evaluations are not spontaneously made at the time of information acquisition. The present paper reports several phenomena that are consistent with the model presented including: a much higher correspondence between recall and judgment under comprehension set than impression set conditions, judgment primacy effects for impression set subjects but judgment recency effects for comprehension set subjects, and a strong relationship between judgments and spew recall order for comprehension sets subjects but not impression set subjects. The implications of these and other phenomena are discussed in terms of how mental representations of another person are formed, and how the nature of such representations may systematically differ as a function of initial processing objectives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-118
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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