Agency and communion are inferred from actions serving interests of self or others
Article first published online: 11 NOV 2008
Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
European Journal of Social Psychology
Special Issue: Fundamental Dimensions of Social Judgment
Volume 38, Issue 7, pages 1103–1110, December 2008
How to Cite
Cislak, A. and Wojciszke, B. (2008), Agency and communion are inferred from actions serving interests of self or others. Eur. J. Soc. Psychol., 38: 1103–1110. doi: 10.1002/ejsp.554
- Issue published online: 11 NOV 2008
- Article first published online: 11 NOV 2008
- Manuscript Accepted: 18 JUN 2008
- Manuscript Received: 9 SEP 2007
Agentic qualities are associated with self-interests of the trait possessor and communal qualities are associated with interests of other people (with whom the trait possessor interacts with). Based on this idea we hypothesized that information on behavior serving self-interests leads to inferences of agency while information on identical actions performed in the service of others' interests leads to inferences of communion. These hypotheses were supported in a study where participants perceived a politician who acted for or against his own interest and (orthogonally) acted for or against interests of other people. Additionally, actions serving other-interest influenced attitudes toward the politician to a higher degree than actions serving his self-interest. The other-interest influence on attitudes was mediated by inferences of communal qualities of the politician while the self-interest influence on attitudes was mediated by inferences of agentic qualities of the politician. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.