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Abstract

Several theoretical perspectives and numerous experiments illustrate the influence of context on social judgment. Debate ensues, however, when researchers attempt to describe mechanisms that lead persons to contrast current decisions with prior judgments. The purpose of this study is to summarize and qualify prior analyses of the influences of context on judgment. Procedural conditions, stimuli type, and priming conditions are implicated as factors that moderate the main effect of extremity on contrastive judgments. Meta-analytical methods assess the main effect and moderators of contrastive judgments. Discussion of the results focuses on the implications of the study for theory of contrastive judgments and strategy. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.