Communication Set and the Perception of Ongoing Behavior Article (Web of Science)


  • Four studies demonstrate that communication set can affect the initial perception of ongoing behavior, which, in turn, can affect subsequent reactions to, or judgments based on, that behavior. Participants expecting to transmit information from an observed behavior sequence to another person unitized (i.e., perceptually organized) that sequence into fewer, but not qualitatively different, meaningful actions than did either participants expecting to receive information from another person or participants with no expectation (controls). In addition, transmitters (relative to receivers or controls) attributed traits to an observed actor less confidently (Study 2), recalled fewer actions from the behavior sequence (Study 3), and experienced less positive affective reactions to the sequence (Studies 3 and 4). It appears from these results that, at least in some instances, the objective of transmitters from the outset is to construct a simpler, more easily communicable summary of information, but not one that is fundamentally different in content from receivers or controls.


publication date

  • 2002

number of pages

  • 13

start page

  • 158

end page

  • 171


  • 28


  • 2