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date: 19 February 2019

Abstract and Keywords

is the study of the cognitive processes involved in categorizing people and their behavior, forming inferences about their qualities and the causes for their action, arriving at attributions that explain behavior, and making predictions about what people are like and likely to do. It incorporates phenomena that operate outside of conscious awareness and automatically (allocation of attention, feature detection, categorization, trait inference, stereotyping, assimilation, and contrast) as well as cognitive processes that require cognitive effort, attentional resources, and extended mental reasoning. It examines the influences of these processes on social judgment and emotion, as well as on interpersonal behavior and intergroup dynamics. Because all social exchanges begin with inferring the intentions and qualities of others, as well as what they are likely to do, and anticipating their expectations of us, person perception is ubiquitous and essential to social exchanges and structures all interactions.

Keywords: attribution, inference, causality, automaticity, correspondence bias, motivated reasoning, stereotyping, priming, social explanations

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