The Handbook of Theories of Social Psychology is an essential resource for researchers and students of social psychology and related disciplines.

Accessibility Theory

Accessibility theory
E. ToryHiggins


Over 30 years have passed since I began studying the priming and accessibility of social constructs. What has made the journey since then so enjoyable are all the colleagues and friends who collaborated in deepening and broadening our knowledge of the nature and functions of priming and accessibility. Writing this chapter helped me to appreciate how much we have learned over the years about the sources and the consequences of accessibility as a basic principle of psychology. We know, for example, that when recent and frequent priming are combined with chronic accessibility (the additivity principle), even extremely vague information about someone will be used as a basis for forming an impression of that person (the compensation principle). We know that when ...

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