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Referencing and Bias in Social Interaction, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology


Examined the consequences of schematic referencing for social behavior. In Exp I, 23 female and 21 male undergraduates worked in pairs on a word association task. In the self-referencing condition, Ss were told that their partner would judge their personality; in the other-referencing condition, Ss were asked to judge their partner's personality. Results show biased recall of Ss' own behavior over another person's behavior in a dyadic interaction. Exp II employed an alternative, more realistic manipulation of self-referencing using situational cues. 16 pairs of undergraduate Ss performed the same word association task either in front of judges or by themselves. The biased recall effect was replicated. Moreover, corresponding biases in Ss' attributions about the quality of their performance were found. Results confirm that self-referencing cues can cause the sort of egocentric reactions that have been observed in previous studies in which members of an interaction remember more of their own contributions and attribute more responsibility for joint tasks to themselves.




Bobby Calder

Date Published



Calder, Bobby. 1984. Referencing and Bias in Social Interaction. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 46(4): 755-762.


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