Rom, Sarah Christina (2017). Impression Formation and Impression Management: Internal and External Determinants. PhD thesis, Universität zu Köln.


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When forming impressions of other people or when managing our own impressions, people are influenced by internal and external information. After a literature overview in Chapter 1, Chapter 2 investigates how people form impressions based on internal influences (e.g., self). Results showed that as people try to understand themselves, they develop causal trait theories, theories that explain how their standing on one trait is caused by their standing on another trait. Six studies showed that people's theories about the self guided their understanding about how traits relate in people in general. Chapter 3 investigates how people form impressions based on external factors (e.g., a person's overt judgment). Across six studies I found that participant's inferred traits from a target's moral dilemma judgment. A target who rejected harm was perceived as relatively warm and moral, but rather incompetent, whereas a target that accepted harm to maximize outcomes was perceived as relatively competent, but rather cold and immoral. Chapter 4 examined how both, internal (e.g., meta-perceptions) and external factors (e.g., context/situation) influence how people manage their impressions. Results demonstrated that people have accurate meta-perceptions, that is, they knew how they were perceived by others following a moral dilemma judgment. This meta-insight influenced in turn how people managed their impressions. Depending on which judgment was favored in a given situation people publically shifted their moral dilemma responses, although privately their judgments remained unaffected. These results show, that people have access to higher order processing that causally contributes to moral decision-making. Chapter 5 discusses limitations, open questions, and implications.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD thesis)
Rom, Sarah Christinasarahchristina.rom@gmail.comUNSPECIFIED
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-82134
Subjects: Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords:
impression formation, impression management, moral dilemmas, social perception, meta-perceptionsEnglish
Faculty: Faculty of Human Sciences
Divisions: Faculty of Human Sciences > Department Psychologie
Language: English
Date: 15 September 2017
Date of oral exam: 15 December 2017
NameAcademic Title
Unkelbach, ChristianProf. Dr.
Hofmann, WilhelmProf. Dr.
Refereed: Yes


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