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Biased Allocation of Faces to Social Categories

June 16, 2011 Leave a comment

Biased Allocation of Faces to Social Categories

Three studies show that social categorization is biased at the level of category allocation. In all studies, participants categorized faces. In Studies 1 and 2, participants overallocated faces with criminal features—a stereotypical negative trait—to the stigmatized Moroccan category, especially if they were prejudiced. On the contrary, the stereotype-irrelevant negative trait stupid did not lead to overallocation to the Moroccan category. In Study 3, using the stigmatized category homosexual, the previously used negative trait criminal—irrelevant to the homosexual stereotype—did not lead to overallocation, but the stereotype-relevant positive trait femininity did. These results demonstrate that normative fit is higher for faces with stereotype-relevant features regardless of valence. Moreover, individual differences in implicit prejudice predicted the extent to which stereotype-relevant traits elicited overallocation: Whereas more negatively prejudiced people showed greater overallocation of faces associated with negative stereotype-relevant traits, they showed less overallocation of faces associated with positive stereotype-relevant traits. These results support our normative fit hypothesis: In general, normative fit is better for faces with stereotypical features. Moreover, normative fit is enhanced for prejudiced individuals when these features are evaluatively congruent. Social categorization thus may be biased in itself.

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Categories: Stereotype

Perspective taking combats automatic expressions of racial bias.

June 13, 2011 Leave a comment

Perspective taking combats automatic expressions of racial bias.

Todd, Andrew R.; Bodenhausen, Galen V.; Richeson, Jennifer A.; Galinsky, Adam D.

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 100(6), Jun 2011, 1027-1042. doi: 10.1037/a0022308

Abstract
Five experiments investigated the hypothesis that perspective taking—actively contemplating others’ psychological experiences—attenuates automatic expressions of racial bias. Across the first 3 experiments, participants who adopted the perspective of a Black target in an initial context subsequently exhibited more positive automatic interracial evaluations, with changes in automatic evaluations mediating the effect of perspective taking on more deliberate interracial evaluations. Furthermore, unlike other bias-reduction strategies, the interracial positivity resulting from perspective taking was accompanied by increased salience of racial inequalities (Experiment 3). Perspective taking also produced stronger approach-oriented action tendencies toward Blacks (but not Whites; Experiment 4). A final experiment revealed that face-to-face interactions with perspective takers were rated more positively by Black interaction partners than were interactions with nonperspective takers—a relationship that was mediated by perspective takers’ increased approach-oriented nonverbal behaviors (as rated by objective, third-party observers). These findings indicate that perspective taking can combat automatic expressions of racial biases without simultaneously decreasing sensitivity to ongoing racial disparities. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved)

Categories: Stereotype

When Do People Rely on Affective and Cognitive Feelings in Judgment? A Review

June 10, 2011 Leave a comment

When Do People Rely on Affective and Cognitive Feelings in Judgment? A Review 

Although people have been shown to rely on feelings to make judgments, the conditions that moderate this reliance have not been systematically reviewed and conceptually integrated. This article addresses this gap by jointly reviewing moderators of the reliance on both subtle affective feelings and cognitive feelings of ease-of-retrieval. The review revealed that moderators of the reliance on affective and cognitive feelings are remarkably similar and can be grouped into five major categories: (a) the salience of the feelings, (b) the representativeness of the feelings for the target, (c) the relevance of the feelings to the judgment, (d) the evaluative malleability of the judgment, and (e) the level of processing intensity. Based on the reviewed evidence, it is concluded that the use of feelings as information is a frequent event and a generally sensible judgmental strategy rather than a constant source of error. Avenues for future research are discussed.

Categories: Stereotype

The role of need for closure in essentialist entitativity beliefs and prejudice: An epistemic needs approach to racial categorization

The role of need for closure in essentialist entitativity beliefs
and prejudice: An epistemic needs approach to racial categorization

Arne Roets, Alain Van Hiel

British Journal of Social Psychology
Volume 50, Issue 1, pages 52–73, March 2011

The present research investigates how people's general epistemic 
motives may inspire essentialist beliefs about racial groups and 
racism. In three studies, we focus particularly on essentialist 
entitativity (EE, referring to beliefs about the uniformity, 
informativeness, and inherent core of racial groups), probing 
into its relationships with epistemic need for closure (NFC) 
and prejudice. In Study 1, we develop an EE scale, empirically 
distinguish it from the naturalness component of essentialism 
and non-EE beliefs, and establish its predictive utility for 
explaining racial prejudice. Study 2 provides experimental 
evidence for the causal effect of NFC on EE beliefs. Study 3 
demonstrates in three different samples that EE beliefs mediate 
the relationship between dispositional NFC and racial prejudice. 
It is argued that EE beliefs about racial groups are an expression 
of motivated social cognition, serving people's seizing needs for 
quick and easy social judgment.
Categories: Stereotype

Identity Separation in Response to Stereotype Threat

Social Psychological and Personality Science May 2011vol. 2 no. 3 317-324

Identity Separation in Response to Stereotype Threat

Despite widespread evidence for the performance costs of stereotype threat, little research has examined other psychological consequences, such as disengagement or disidentification. The present studies investigated such consequences of stereotype threat for women working at major international firms. Study 1 found that female leaders who experienced stereotype threat separated their feminine identities from their work-related (i.e., more masculine) identity. Study 2 extended this finding by demonstrating that even when the feminine identity comprised those characteristics that serve women well in the workplace (e.g., being understanding and aware of the feelings of others), female employees still engaged in identity separation after experiences of stereotype threat. These results suggest that stereotype threat is an ongoing concern in the workplace, and they provide evidence for psychological consequences of stereotype threat.

Categories: Stereotype

The Hillary Clinton effect: When the same role model inspires or fails to inspire improved performance under stereotype threat

The Hillary Clinton effect: When the same role model inspires or fails to inspire improved performance under stereotype threat

Cheryl A. Taylor
Texas Christian University
Charles G. Lord c.lord@tcu.edu
Texas Christian University
Rusty B. McIntyre
Wayne State University
Rene M. Paulson
Texas Women’s University
Abstract

If successful role models undo stereotype threat effects by providing reassurance that group members can “take care of themselves,” then the same real-world role model might inspire those who think she deserved success, but fail to inspire those who think she did not. In a pilot study, some women participants listed Hillary Clinton high among women who deserved their success; others listed her high among women who did not deserve their success. The former participants, but not the latter, claimed her success came from internal and stable causes and would inspire them in difficult situations. In the main study, women rated how much Hillary Clinton deserved her success. One month later, they were placed under mathematics stereotype threat, read a factual biography of Hillary Clinton, and took a GRE-Q test. Those who had earlier claimed Clinton deserved her success scored as well as a test-only control group; those who had earlier claimed she did not deserve her success scored as poorly as a threat-only control group. The results are seen as contributing to theories of role models, stereotype threat, and attribution.

Categories: Stereotype