Reducing context effects by adding context information: The direction and size of context effects in political judgment

This article investigates how the activation of a specific exemplar influences the direction and the size of context effects on evaluative judgments about other specific exemplars or about a superordinate category. Ss were 125 college students. The activation of an untrustworthy politician decreased judgments of trustworthiness of politicians in general but increased judgments of the trustworthiness of specific exemplars. The assimilation as well as the contrast effect were attenuated when additional judgment-relevant exemplars were activated. The results suggest that the impact of a specific context information depends on the amount of other judgment-relevant information that can be used in constructing a mental representation of the judgmental target or of a comparison standard. Implications for scandal management are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved)