Person perception under pressure: When motivation brings about egocentrism
what (who) is the person in person perception / person perception via inferences / is there a "motive" to put together constructs about others / what are the characteristics of inference and construct building / press, conflict, and control motivation / how to recognize perceptual reduction / an illustration of the movement from construct building to egocentrism / when cues to inner states are not acted upon: the role of press / person perception: motives and orientations in a cultural context. Examined the effect of needs on the process and mechanisms of social perception. It is argued that social perception research has tended to focus on the physical appearance of persons, presumably because knowledge regarding another person's internal state must rely on overt behavior, contextual cues, and more importantly, various inferences regarding the person based on physical appearance. Press, conflict, and control motivation are seen to alter the process of drawing inferences and applying personal constructs. Perceptual reduction (eliminating constructs, failing to engage in perspective-taking) is described and illustrated in a conflict scenario. Experimental results demonstrate that high press results in better perspective-taking in conflict-free situations. In low-conflict situations, perspective-taking is positively associated with press, whereas just the opposite is true in high-conflict situations. Cultural orientations guiding person perception in Western and Third World contexts are contrasted. It is concluded that Western society, due to preoccupation with efficiency, pressures individuals to regulate the process of perception by reducing constructs to a set of reliable characteristics such as gender, race, and age.
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