Implicit Personality Theory

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  • A theory (sometimes referred to as IPA) about the general expectations people construct about another after learning something about that individual or noticing a particular trait in that individual. Often, these expectations reflect stereotypical attitudes, such as expecting fat people to be jolly or bespectacled people to be smart. However, not all such expectations are necessarily stereotypical or false.

    The renowned Gestalt psychologist Solomon Asch (1952) is credited with having discovered that the presence of a particular trait often implies the existence of particular other traits. According to Asch, traits are central; they not only imply the presence of a potentially predictable array of other traits, they also are the ones that most powerfully influence people's impressions of, and responses to, the object or individual. For ...

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