Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

The effect of anxiety on impression formation: Affect-congruent or stereotypic biases?

Curtis, G.J. and Locke, V. (2005) The effect of anxiety on impression formation: Affect-congruent or stereotypic biases? British Journal of Social Psychology, 44 (1). pp. 65-83.

Link to Published Version:
*Subscription may be required


Two classes of theories propose that anxious individuals will form either more affect congruent or more stereotypic impressions of others. These theories’ predictions are not mutually exclusive. Eighty-one participants were examined to determine if either class of theories was more descriptive of the effect of anxiety on impression formation or whether a theory combining elements of both was more appropriate. Anxious participants read behavioural descriptions about an Australian Aboriginal target that were stereotypic, non-stereotypic, threatening, and non-threatening, and rated the target on traits that corresponded to the behavioural descriptions. Anxious participants formed impressions that were more affect-congruent, but not more stereotypic, than those formed by control participants. This result was replicated in a field study with 61 participants who were waiting to see a dentist. Future studies should examine the cognitive mechanisms that influence and underlie anxious affect-congruent impression formation.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: The British Psychological Society
Copyright: 2005 The British Psychological Society
Item Control Page Item Control Page