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Recency Effect

Definition

The recency effect is an order of presentation effect that occurs when more recent information is better remembered and receives greater weight in forming a judgment than does earlier-presented information. Recency effects in social psychology have been most thoroughly studied in impression formation research. Typically, researchers investigate how impressions are formed on the basis of sequentially presented information. For example, a recency effect occurs if a person who is described in terms of three positive traits followed by three negative traits is subsequently evaluated more negatively than is a person described by exactly the same traits but presented in a reverse order (negative traits followed by positive traits). The opposite of a recency effect is a primacy effect, when early information has a disproportionate influence ...

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