Standards and Expectancies
Contrast and Assimilation in Judgments of Self and Others
Psychology Press – 2006 – 256 pages
Series: Essays in Social Psychology
This book examines how standards and expectancies affect judgments of others and the self. Standards are points of comparison, expectancies are beliefs about the future, and both serve as frames of reference against which current events and people (including the self) are experienced. The central theme of the book is that judgments can be characterized as either assimilative or contrastive in nature. Assimilation occurs when the target of evaluation (another person, the self) is pulled toward or judged consistently with the standard or expectation, and contrast occurs when the target is differentiated from (judged in a direction opposite) the comparative frame. The book considers factors that determine whether assimilation versus contrast occurs, and focuses on the roles of contextual cues, the self, and stereotypes as standards for judging others, and the roles of internalized guides, stereotypes, and other people for judging the self.
1. Standards and Expectancies: An Introduction and Overview. 2. Judging Others and the Self: Contextual factors affecting assimilation and contrast. 3. Models of Assimilation and Contrast. 4. Self and Other Exemplars as Standards for Judging Others. 5. Stereotypes and Stereotyping of Others. 6. Beyond Assimilation: Toward a Broader View of Stereotyping Effects. 7. Internalized guides as standards for judging the self. 8. Stereotypes as Standards for Judging the Self: Self-stereotyping. 9. Other People as Standards: Social Comparison. 10. Conclusion: Assimilation and Contrast Revisited.