It is a basic and an undeniable fact of social life that one form impressions of other people whom they encounter in the day-to-day lives. As a direct result of generations of theory and research on impression formation and person perception, investigators have learned a great deal about the way individuals process information to form beliefs and impressions of other people. Accordingly, there exists considerable knowledge about the antecedents of social beliefs. The practical implications of these reality-constructing consequences of social beliefs are considerable, both at the level of individual lives and at the level of society. This chapter highlights that the processes of social thought are intimately woven into the fabric of social interaction and interpersonal relationships. The events of the lives are very much a reflection of one's beliefs about other people in the social worlds. Finally, it is in this sense that beliefs can and do create reality.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Research on the consequences of beliefs and the preparation of this manuscript have been supported by National Science Foundation Grants SOC 75-13872, BNS 77-11346, and BNS 82-07632 to Mark Snyder.