Brewer, D. D. (1995). The social structural basis of the organization of persons in memory. Human Nature, 6, 379-403.
This paper summarizes and discusses three studies of patterns in the recall of persons in socially bounded communities. Individuals in three different communities (a graduate academic program), a religious fellowship, and a department in a formal organization free-listed the names of person in their respective communities. Results indicate that the individuals in each community share a common cognitive structure of community members that is based on the community's social structure. These studies, combined with the results of other research, strongly suggest that persons are organized in memory according to social structural principles and that affiliation and dominance are the principal dimensions of social cognition. Suggestions are offered for future research to test the generality of these findings.
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