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Outcome dependency

 

Explanations > Theories > Outcome Dependency

Description | Research | Example | So What? | See also | References 

 

Description

When we have something we are trying to achieve, then we will tend to bias our judgments about the world and people around us to make the achievement of that goal more believable. This works in positive and negative ways: we will like our potential friends and dislike our potential enemies.

This is a form of optimism, preparing us give the situation the best chance to succeed. 

Research

Berscheid and colleagues took people going on a blind date and showed them a video of their potential partner in conversation with two other people. They then asked the participants  to rate the people in the video for likeability. The participants tended to rate their prospective partner higher than the other people in the video. 

Example

If you and I are put on the same team, I will believe that you are a likable, competent and cooperative person.

So what?

Find a task to share with the other person. They will automatically like you more. 

See also

In-Group Bias, Out-Group Homogeneity, Ultimate Attribution Error

References

Berscheid, Graziano, Monson, and Dermer (1976)

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