The preference for potential.

@article{Tormala2012ThePF,
  title={The preference for potential.},
  author={Zakary L. Tormala and Jayson S. Jia and Michael I. Norton},
  journal={Journal of personality and social psychology},
  year={2012},
  volume={103 4},
  pages={567-83}
}
When people seek to impress others, they often do so by highlighting individual achievements. Despite the intuitive appeal of this strategy, we demonstrate that people often prefer potential rather than achievement when evaluating others. Indeed, compared with references to achievement (e.g., "this person has won an award for his work"), references to potential (e.g., "this person could win an award for his work") appear to stimulate greater interest and processing, which can translate into… CONTINUE READING
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