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Unformatted text preview: Interaction Studies 6:1 (2005), 5367 . issn 15720373 / e-issn 15720381 JohN BENjamINS PublIShINg CompaNy Construing and constructing others ON thE rEalIty aNd thE gENEralIty of thE bEhavIoral coNFrmatIoN ScENarIo Mark NydEr aNd OlIvIEr KlEIN UNIvErSIty of MINNESota / UNIvErSIt LIbrE dE BruxEllES WhEN INdIvIdualS (aS pErcEIvErS) hold ExpEctatIoNS about othEr pEoplE (aS targEtS), thEy caN ElIcIt from thESE targEtS bEhavIorS that arE coNSIStENt wIth thEIr ExpEctatIoNS, EvEN If thESE ExpEctatIoNS arE INdEpENdENt of thE targEtS rEal charactErIStIcS. N thIS papEr, wE coNSIdEr thE rolE that thIS phENomENoN, kNowN aS bEhavIoral coNFrmatIoN, playS IN ShapINg thE SocIal pErcEptIoNS of pErcEIvErS, targEtS, aNd outSIdE obSErvErS. AS wEll, wE addrESS thE valuE of laboratory rESEarch oN bEhavIoral coNFrmatIoN for uNdErStaNdINg thE dyNamIcS aNd outcomES of SocIal INtEractIoNS IN Naturally occurrINg SEttINgS. BuIldINg oN thESE coNSIdEratIoNS, wE thEN ExamINE thE rolE of bEhavIoral coNFrmatIoN phENomENa IN ShapINg INtErgroup rElatIoNS, wIth partIcular rEfErENcE to dElINEatINg coNdItIoNS IN whIch Such phENomENa SErvE to prE- SErvE thESE rElatIoNS. BaSEd oN thIS aNalySIS, wE SuggESt that dyadIc coNFrma- tIoN phENomENa arE lIkEly to occur IN Naturally occurrINg SEttINgS aNd may coNtrIbutE to thE maINtENaNcE aNd pErpEtuatIoN of SocIal StErEotypES aNd SocIEtal StructurES. Keywords: bEhavIoral coNFrmatIoN, SElf-fulFllINg prophEcIES, StErEotypES, pErSoN pErcEptIoN, SocIal judgmENt At thE tImE of thIS wrItINg, IN mId-4, It IS Not dIcult to ImagINE aN AmErI- caN SoldIEr SErvINg IN raq holdINg NEgatIvE ExpEctatIoNS about thE raqI pEo- plE. TIS SoldIEr mIght bElIEvE that thE pEoplE of raq arE ExtrEmEly aggrESSIvE aNd do Not adhErE to thE SamE moral StaNdardS aS AmErIcaNS. N dEalINg wIth INdIvIdual raqIS, thIS SoldIEr may act IN oENSIvE wayS, pErhapS by thrEatEN- INg thEm phySIcally, or by placINg thEm IN dEgradINg poSturES. AS a rESult of bEINg trEatEd IN Such a faShIoN, thESE raqIS may IN turN ExpErIENcE hEIghtENEd 54 Mark Snyder and Olivier Klein hostility towards this soldier. As a consequence, given the opportunity, these Iraqis may actually act in aggressive ways towards this soldier and other Amer- icans. If so, the American soldiers expectations may be conFrmed as a result of interactions with Iraqis. In this example, a belief that was subjectively real (from the American soldiers perspective) instigated a series of behaviors on the part of the perceiv- er (the soldier) and these behaviors induced the targets of these expectations (individual Iraqis) to enact the perceivers initial beliefs, thereby making them objectively real. Tis sequence of events illustrates a reality-constructing pro- cess by which an individuals beliefs about another person may, in the course of social interaction, come to be conFrmed by the behavior of that other per- son. Tis process is referred to as behavioral conFrmation (Snyder & Stukas, son....
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This note was uploaded on 02/24/2010 for the course PSYCHOLOGY 100B taught by Professor Firstenberg,i. during the Spring '10 term at UCLA.
- Spring '10