Assimilation and contrast effects in part-whole question sequences: A conversational logic analysis

Presents a model of the emergence of assimilation and contrast effects in part-whole (PW) question sequences. When a specific question precedes a general question (GQ) and the 2 are not assigned to the same context, respondents use information primed by the specific question (SQ) to form a general judgment. This results in PW assimilation effects. If both questions are perceived as belonging together, however, conversational norms of nonredundancy prohibit the repeated use of information that has already been provided in response to the SQ when making the general judgment. Thus, respondents interpret the GQ to refer to aspects other than the ones covered by the SQ. Contrast effects may emerge in this case. Survey data from 456 adults (aged 18+ yrs) support this model. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved)