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Intra-personal conflicts affect inter-personal perceptions

By Dr. Tali Kleiman
Location Bloomfield 527
Academic Program: BS
Tuesday 16 April 2019, 11:20 - 12:20

Internal conflicts (e.g., pitting professional success against personal life) are prevalent in everyday life. Previous research has often conceptualized conflicts as aversive states associated with negative consequences, from impaired decision-making to stress and ill-being. I will take a more cognitive approach and argue that intra-personal conflicts can activate a general reasoning process (i.e., a procedural mindset) that fosters the consideration of alternatives and in turn carries consequences for perceptions in the inter-personal domain. I will present evidence showing that across various activations of intra-individual conflicts there is a systematic change in inter-personal perceptions, including perspective taking, stereotype deactivation, and accuracy judgments of ingroup and outgroup members’ attitudes. I will further examine the mechanism underlying this effect, suggesting that an expansion of cognitive breadth is a key element. I will suggest that the framework developed in the present research is generative for determining how self-focused, intra-personal processes can be capitalized on to alter inter-personal perceptions and in turn facilitate social change.