Self-serving bias in attitude judgments: The use of person versus issue implicated language

Martijn, C., van der Pligt, J. & Spears, R., 1996, In : Social Cognition. 14, 1, p. 77-91 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

This study examines participants' perceptions of the appropriateness of judgmental language to describe own, similar, and dissimilar attitudes. The judgmental language consisted of pre-tested adjectives that varied in terms of their descriptive content, evaluative connotation and type of implication. Adjectives were classified as person implicated if they primarily implied an evaluation of person(s), and as issue implicated if their central focus was on an evaluation of the issue. Findings confirm the prediction of a differential positivity bias. Participants preferred positive person implication adjectives as compared to positive issue implication adjectives to describe their own and similar attitudes. When describing people with opposing attitudes participants preferred negative person implication adjectives over negative issue implication adjectives. This finding is related to other self-serving biases in the judgment of attitude positions and groups, and its application to different communicative contexts is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-91
Number of pages15
JournalSocial Cognition
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1996

ID: 14830530