Developmental trends in qualified inferences and descriptions of self and others
Studied the developmental changes in qualifications of descriptions of self and others provided by 93 males and females representing 8th-grade, 11th-grade, 12th-grade, and college levels. Ss completed questionnaires (including 6-point rating scales for 10 traits) describing themselves and 6 hypothetical individuals: "girl you like," "boy you like," "girl you dislike," "boy you dislike," "people who are intelligent," and "people who are considerate." Separate analyses of variance for the 5 stimulus persons and the 2 trait cues were performed on weighted qualification scores. Results indicate there were no significant effects of sex of S. Significant differences appeared between 8th- and 11th-grade Ss' ratings of "self," "liked girl," "liked boy," and "intelligent person." Findings lend some support to the speculation that older persons given information about hypothetical individuals predict or infer less because these persons have become increasingly aware of temporal and situational variability. It is pointed out that findings may reflect the attainment, between 8th and 11th grade, of formal operational thinking which is applied to person perception. Developmental implications of results are outlined. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved). © 1976 American Psychological Association.
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