The role of suspiciousness in understanding others’ goals
Benefits or detriments?
An experiment examined goal understanding and how perceivers’ suspiciousness was associated with the accuracy, valence, and certainty of their inferences about a pursuer’s goal. In initial interactions, one dyad member was randomly assigned as the pursuer, and the other was the perceiver. The congruency of the perceiver’s and the pursuer’s conversation goals (i.e., discordant, identical, or concordant) and the perceiver’s cognitive busyness were manipulated. Results confirmed that accuracy decreased as perceivers’ suspiciousness increased only for not-busy perceivers in the goal-discord condition because perceivers’ inferences were negatively valenced. Results also supported the hypotheses that certainty decreased as perceivers’ suspiciousness increased only for not-busy perceivers in the goal-discord condition and that certainty increased as perceivers’ suspiciousness increased both for not-busy perceivers in the identical-goal condition and for busy perceivers in the goal-discord condition.
Keywords: message processing, social cognition, interpersonal communication, social interaction, message production, skepticism, conversation
- 1.Goal understanding theoretical framework
- 2.Perceivers’ suspiciousness in others’ motives
- 3.Goal congruency
- 4.Cognitive busyness
- 5.1Participants and procedure preview
- 5.2Independent variables
- 5.2.1Goal congruency
- 5.2.2Cognitive busyness
- 5.3Dependent variables
- 5.3.1Inference accuracy
- 5.3.2Inference certainty
- 5.3.3Goal inference valence
- 5.4Manipulation and design check measures
- 5.6Goal pursuit efficiency
- 6.1Hypotheses tests
- 6.1.1Inference accuracy
- 6.1.2Inference certainty
- 6.1.3Inference valence
- 6.1Hypotheses tests
Published online: 21 December 2016
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