Five years of support are requested for an ADAMHA Research Scientist Development Award (Level 11). The proposed research is part of an ongoing research program that investigates the effects of cognitive busyness (a state in which an individual's processing resources are depleted by concurrent demanding tasks) on social inference processes. My past research has argued for a multiple-stage model of trait inference in which successive stages require increasing amounts of conscious attention. As such, cognitive busyness renders perceivers unable to complete late stages in the information-processing sequence, and thus causes them to draw overly dispositional inferences about others. The present proposal describes four major areas of new research concentration. First, the proposal describes some new data which suggest that the original model is overly constrained, and offers a series of experiments that will allow me to expand the model in a variety of important ways. Second, the proposal describes a series of experiments that attempt to apply this model of trait inference in other-perception to a variety of problems in self-perception. Third, the proposal describes a series of experiments that seek to construe social comparison as the interaction of self-perception and other-perception processes. Finally, the proposal describes plans for a book that embeds this and other work in the overarching framework of Spinoza's theory of propositional representation.
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