This two experiment paper examined how a negative revelation disrupts dyads' shared
impression of another person, and encourages impression revision by focusing
conversation on negative, stigma-congruent information. In the first experiment, compared
to nondisrupted dyads, disrupted dyads discussed congruent information longer, discussed
how it fit their impressions, and questioned each other about it. Experiment 2 showed that,
after disruption, dyads also increased focus on congruent information over time.
Thus, discovering a previously unknown stigma focuses people's attention
on information that is stereotypically associated with the stigma, and
may reflect efforts to re-establish a coherent impression.
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