On the activation of social stereotypes: The moderating role of processing objectives

Neil Macrae, G V Bodenhausen, Alan Berkeley Milne, T M J Thorn, L Castelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

138 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Two studies investigated the effects of processing goals (semantic vs presemantic) on stereotype activation. We posited that spontaneous stereotype activation would only occur when participants process targets (i.e., people) in a semantic manner. In line with this prediction, participants who first processed a target face in a semantic fashion were subsequently faster to verify words that were stereotypic of the target person's gender group compared to participants who had processed the face in presemantic ways. Face recognition, however, did not differ across processing goals. In a second experiment, we replicated these findings using a much shorter stimulus presentation time, verifying that conscious or intentional processes did not underlie the differential stereotype activation. We consider our findings in the context of contemporary issues in stereotyping and automaticity. (C) 1997 Academic Press.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)471-489
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Volume33
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1997

Keywords

  • CONTEXTUAL FACILITATION
  • SPREADING ACTIVATION
  • INFORMATION
  • MEMORY
  • AUTOMATICITY
  • STRATEGIES
  • COMPONENTS
  • DEPENDENCE
  • PERCEPTION
  • RETRIEVAL

Cite this

Macrae, N., Bodenhausen, G. V., Milne, A. B., Thorn, T. M. J., & Castelli, L. (1997). On the activation of social stereotypes: The moderating role of processing objectives. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 33(5), 471-489.