Karylowski, J. J., Konarzewski, K., & Motes, M. (in press) Recruitment of Exemplars as Social Reference Points in Judgments of Preferences and Traits. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology

Four experiments examined the recruitment of individual-person exemplars as reference points in social judgments. Making a judgment regarding one person facilitated making the same judgment regarding another, particularly when the two targets were of the same sex and similar age. For the category of sex, this category-specific facilitation was strongest for participants who were highly traditionally sex-typed. Compared to initial judgments regarding specific persons, initial judgments regarding social prototypes were less effective in facilitating subsequent judgments regarding other persons. This occurred despite greater perceived similarity between prototype-person pairs than between person-person pairs. In general, the predicted effects occurred less consistently for self than for other familiar-person exemplars. Overall, the results provide support for a privileged role of exemplars in social judgments and for the relevance of the social categories of sex and age in determining which specific exemplars are used in making judgments regarding particular targets..

Send all correspondence to Jerzy J. Karylowski, Department of Psychology, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL 32223; e-mail: JUREK@UNF.EDU.