Differential effects of priming at the encoding and judgment stage

Two experiments, with 146 university students, investigated whether the direction of priming effects depended on the processing stage at which Ss linked the prime to a trait applicable to evaluation of an ambiguously described target person. It was hypothesized that assimilation effects would emerge when primes were processed in terms of a trait concept applicable to the encoding task. However, when primes were not processed in applicable trait terms, they might still affect judgments if Ss recalled the prime when judging the target along a trait dimension. Primes might serve as an anchor, resulting in contrast effects. Ss were primed with names of prototypically nice or hostile famous individuals under instructions that did or did not prompt Ss to process the prime in applicable trait terms. Results support the hypotheses. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved)