Knowledge Of Behavior


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Also known as self-fulfilling prophecies, interpersonal expectancy effects have been shown to be a significant phenomenon in human interaction. Assessments of participants’ behavior during the interaction and perceptions revealed that prior expectations affected buyer-seller interactions. During the course of daily lives, individuals encounter a multitude of objects. In fact, they are bombarded by a diverse array of stimuli and forced to make innumerable decisions about which to approach and which to avoid.

These stimuli include not only such physical objects as foods, clothing, and toys but also other people, events, and activities. Moreover, societal matters, as well as conversations with others, often require that individuals adopt a position regarding various social and political issues. Thus, merely proceeding through a day involves individuals making a continuous series of choices based on their appraisals of objects.

We are extremely adaptive creatures who have the capacity to learn from experience.

We have memory for these experiences. We develop and remember vast storehouses of knowledge regarding the attributes that characterize the objects, people, issues, and events that we either encounter directly or learn about indirectly from others. As helpful as this knowledge base might be, however, it represents only an initial step toward individuals’ successful coping with the multitude of stimuli that impinge on them. Having knowledge regarding a given object available in memory provides a basis for choice, but still requires that individuals engage in extensive and effortful deliberation. They must retrieve the relevant stored information, consider its implications for approach or avoidance, and integrate those implications into a final judgment.

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