When recollective experiences matter: Subjective ease of retrieval and stereotyping
SourcePersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 25, 6, (1999), pp. 760-768
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI SCP
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin
SubjectBehaviour Change and Well-being
Based on the logic that stereotypes are accessible among people who use them often, the authors suspected that low-prejudice participants would experience difficulty when asked to bring a large amount of stereotypic information to mind. This experienced difficulty was expected to decrease the stereotypicality of subsequent judgments. In the experiment, participants who differed in their level of prejudice (i.e., low, intermediate, high) toward women judged a target (i.e., female secretary) after having generated either three or eight traits on which men and women were believed to differ. As predicted, ease of retrieval influenced the extent to which the target was stereotyped, but only for low-prejudice participants. That is, these individuals judged the target more stereotypically when they had previously generated three traits rather than eight traits. Ease of retrieval effects were not observed among other participants. The authors consider how experiential states may inform their understanding of stereotyping.
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