Russell Fazio, Ohio State University
Weighting Positive versus Negative Valence: The Fundamental Nature of Asymmetries in Attitude Generalization
When appraising a novel object or situation, individuals essentially engage in attitude generalization, weighting its resemblance to known positives versus negatives. I will overview a program of research in which individuals’ valence weighting tendencies are assessed by examining how their pre-established positive and negative attitudes generalize to similar but novel attitude objects. Some individuals weigh resemblance to a known positive more heavily than resemblance to a known negative. Others show the reverse tendency. This performance-based measure proves predictive of novel appraisals across a wide variety of domains, suggesting the existence of a fundamental individual difference in valence weighting.