When stereotypes get in the way: Stereotypes obstruct stereotype-inconsistent trait inferences
until further notice
Number of pages
SourceJournal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 3, (2003), pp. 470-483
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI SCP
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
SubjectBehaviour Change and Well-being
There is a growing body of evidence indicating that people spontaneously make trait inferences while observing the behavior of others. The present article reports a series of 5 experiments that examined the influence of stereotypes on the spontaneous inference of traits. Results consistently showed weaker spontaneous trait inferences for stereotype-inconsistent behavioral information than for stereotype-consistent and stereotype-neutral information. Taken together, the current results suggest that specific spontaneous trait inferences become obstructed by inhibitory processes when behavior is inconsistent with an already activated stereotype. These findings are discussed in relation to stereotype maintenance processes and recent models of attribution in social judgment.
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