Sedikides, C., & Anderson, C. A. (1994).

Causal perceptions of intertrait relations: The glue that holds person types together.

Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 20, 294-302.


Two experiments tested the hypothesis that implicit personality theory person types are composed of causally interconnected traits. Experiment 1 showed that the weakest trait member of a person type is perceived as more causally related to the core trait members of the type than are nonmember traits, even when those nonmember traits are both more highly correlated with and closer in multidimensional scaling (MDS) space to the core members that the weakest member. Experiment 2 demonstrated that within-person-type members are perceived as more causally related to each other than to members of other types even when all are located in the same MDS space. The hypothesis that person types consist of causally interrelated traits was strongly supported. Implications for categorization, impression formation, and stereotyping are considered.

©1994 by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc.

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