Feelings and cognitions influence judgment through attribution. For instance, the attribution of positive feelings and cognitions to a stimulus leads to a positive judgment of that stimulus. We examined whether misattribution is moderated by the applicability of a distractor to the judgment question. For instance, when are people more likely to attribute to a target person the affective and cognitive experiences triggered by a kitten–when trying to judge the person’s cuteness or trustworthiness? The kitten triggers experiences specifically relevant to cuteness, but people might more easily suspect the kitten’s potential influence when judging cuteness rather than trustworthiness. Using the Affect Misattribution Procedure, we found that applicability increases the effect of misattribution on valenced judgments. The results emphasise the importance of specific information (rather than only general valence) in attribution and suggest that high applicability of distractors to the judgment question does not elicit effective correction.
- affect misattribution procedure
- implicit measures