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Abstract

An experiment was conducted in which information regarding a target persons evaluation of a target object was presented either in written form or via video tape, and information regarding the evaluations of four other people was also presented either in written form or via video tape. The results indicated that the effect of consensus on both person and object attribution was significantly weaker when the target-person information was video taped (concrete) and the other-people information was written (abstract) than in the other three conditions created by the combination of the two informational variables. It is argued that, in contrast to earlier speculation in the literature, type of consensus and its mode of presentation represent conceptually orthogonal dimensions. Further research is urged to map out the boundary conditions of consensus information; it is demonstrated that current work has largely concentrated upon only a portion of this attributional domain due to the prevalent confounding of these two independent dimensions.