Implicit impressions are preverbal, non-episodic residues in memory of our observations of, interactions with, and inferences about others. Distinguishing implicit from explicit impressions can be difficult. Sometimes people say one thing about someone but do another, so words and deeds are at odds. Schachter (1987) described implicit memory as “revealed when previous experiences facilitate performance on a task that does not require conscious or intentional recollections of those experiences,” whereas explicit memory “requires conscious recollection of previous experiences.” There is good experimental support for implicit impressions, including Andersen's work on social-cognitive transference and Carlston and Skowronski's work on spontaneous trait inference. Implicit impressions affect trait judgments of others, as has been demonstrated in research on spontaneous trait transference. Implicit and explicit impressions of the same person can be held simultaneously, and their effects can be empirically distinguished. The chapter illustrates how to do this with Jacoby's process dissociation procedure as well as new experimental findings.
Keywords: implicit impressions, explicit impressions, explicit memory, implicit memory, process dissociation procedure, spontaneous trait transference, spontaneous trait inference, social-cognitive transference
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