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The first comprehensive theoretical formulation of the way people use information they receive about their social environments to make judgments and behavioral decisions, this volume focuses on the cognitive processes that underlie the use of social information. These include initial interpretation, the representations used to make inferences, and the transformation of these subjective inferences into overt judgment and behavior. In addition, it specifies the role of affect and emotion in information processing, and the role of self-knowledge at different stages of processing.
The theoretical model presented here is the first to provide a conceptual integration of existing theory and research in all phases of social information processing. It not only accounts for the major portion of existing research findings, but permits several hypotheses to be generated concerning phenomena that have not yet been empirically investigated. Although focused here on the processing of information about people and events, the formulation proposed has implications for other domains such as personnel appraisal, political decision making, and consumer behavior.
Contents: Preface. Introduction. A General Model of Social Information Processing. The Structure and Function of the Work Space. The Organization of Information in Permanent Memory. Retrieval Processes. Encoding and Organization: I. The Effects of Concept Accessibility on the Interpretation of Information. Encoding and Organization: II. The Cognitive Representation of Persons. Encoding and Organization: III. The Cognitive Representation of Social Events. Inference Making: I. General Processes. Inference Making: II. Judgments of Persons. Response Generation. The Role of Affect and Emotion in Information Processing. The Self. Appendix: Summary of Postulates.