Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Three studies were conducted to examine issues concerning the preservation of original stimulus input order in memory and its effects on subsequent judgments. More specifically, the studies were concerned with: (a) the extent to which the sequential order of input is preserved in memory under different processing goals or objectives, and (b) the implications of this for social judgment. The processing objectives of 'impression formation' and 'recall' were employed in all three studies (along with 'no-goal' control groups in Studies 2 and 3). In Study 1, after reading a descriptive essay concerning the behaviors of a stimulus person, subjects were given (consecutively) 'impression' and 'recall' output goals and tasks. The results indicated that the original stimulus order was preserved more in 'recall' than 'impression' output tasks. In Studies 2 and 3, subjects read a series of facts regarding the behavior of two stimulus persons that were relevant to a fictional self-defense case. In Studies 2 and 3, processing goals were manipulated at both the input and output stages. Also included in Studies 2 and 3 was a goal reversal manipulation in which subjects were first given one of the output process objectives and then, after a 20 minute delay, the other output processing objective. At both measurement periods, subjects completed a series of judgments related to the material they had read (e.g., judgments concerning the guilt of the two parties involved). Also included in Study 2 was a manipulation of the timing of subjects' receipt of their first output goal instructions for juror and witness analog considerations. The studies were consistent in suggesting the flexibility of output in terms of subjects' preservation of input order and the lack of relation between order effects and judgment effects. Studies 2 and 3 were also consistent in demonstrating a significant impact of the goal reversal manipulation on subjects' judgments. Possible explanations for the pattern of obtained results and their implications for current social-cognitive research and theory are discussed.



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