On-Line Processes in Category-Based and Individuating Impressions: Some Basic Principles and Methodological Reflections
Much of the work of impression formation, in natural settings, occurs at encoding. The more we study impression formation processes in our laboratory, the more we are impressed by what perceivers accomplish as they are encountering information. Moreover, people possess on-line strategies for impression formation that prove to be quite functional for social purposes. For the past several years, we have focused on how people make sense of other people at the moment of the encounter itself and the functions served by those impressions. From various studies over time, we are beginning to distill general principles and useful methods for examining such functional, on-line impression formation processes; some of these principles and methods may prove useful to other researchers.