Primacy Effect

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  • An effect that occurs when people are more influenced by information they receive early in an interaction than by information that appears later on. At the same time, when a person is engaged and alert, the influence of this effect is diminished. This effect occurs for two reasons. First, we become somewhat attentive to later information only when we have already formed an impression. The second reason is what is known as the change-of-meaning hypothesis. This states that once people form an impression, they later interpret inconsistent information in light of that impression. Depending on first impressions, the same information can be interpreted in multiple ways. The primacy effect is reduced when items are presented quickly and is enhanced when they are presented slowly. ...

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