Effects of cognitive demand and judgment strategy on person perception accuracy

Miles L. Patterson, Erica Stockbridge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


The present study examined the effects of cognitive demand and judgment strategy in performance on the Interpersonal Perception Task (Costanzo & Archer, 1989). The Interpersonal Perception Task (IPT) contains 30 brief, real-life scenes on videotape for which there are objectively correct answers to questions about status, intimacy, kinship, competition, and deception. A total of 142 participants were run in a 2 (high vs. low cognitive demand) x 2 (first impression vs. nonverbal cues strategy) x 2 (audiovisual vs. visual only modality) design. A significant Cognitive Demand x Judgment Strategy interaction supported the hypothesized benefit of a first impression strategy when participants experienced high, rather than low, cognitive demand. In contrast, participants receiving the nonverbal cues strategy had higher accuracy under low, rather than high, cognitive demand. The conditional effects of cognitive demand on person perception are considered and the larger role of cognitive resources in interaction is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-263
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Nonverbal Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1998


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