Citation:
Vonk, R. (in press). The Slime Effect: Suspicion and dislike of likeable behavior towards superiors. JPSP.

Abstract:
Experiments 1 and 2 demonstrate that an actor who performs likeable behaviors towards superiors (persons on whom the actor depends), and dislikeable behaviors towards subordinates (persons the actor does not depend on), is judged as extremely dislikeable and slimy. Subsequent experiments address several theoretical accounts of this Slime effect . Likeable behaviors towards superiors induce suspicion of ulterior motivation; this suspicion is gradually confirmed as more dislikeable behaviors towards subordinates are encountered (Exp. 3). The operation of a Slime schema is indicated by the emergence of an illusory correlation between an actor s behavior and the power of the behavioral target, such that the actor is erroneously perceived as more likeable towards superiors (Exp. 4). Further, perceivers spontaneously discern the behavioral pattern of licking upward, kicking downwardý, regardless of processing time (Exp 5). The discussion addresses the implications of these results with respect to impression formation and inconsistency resolution, trait inferences and correspondence bias, and lay theories of self-presentational behavior.

Key words: Illusory correlation, Impression Formation, Ingratiation, Schemas, Suspicion, Trait Inferences