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Stereotypes as energy-saving devices: A peek inside the cognitive toolbox, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

Abstract

By use of a dual-task paradigm, 3 studies investigated the contention that stereotypes function as resource-preserving devices in mental life. In Study 1, Ss formed impressions of targets while simultaneously monitoring a prose passage. The results demonstrated a significant enhancement in Ss' prose-monitoring performance when stereotype labels were present on the impression-formation task. To investigate the intentionality of this effect, in Study 2, the procedures used in Study 1 were repeated using a subliminal priming procedure to activate stereotypes. Subliminal activation of stereotypes produced the same resource-preserving effects as supraliminal activation did. This effect, moreover, was replicated in Study 3 when a probe reaction task was used to measure resource preservation. These findings, which generalized across a range of social stereotypes, are discussed in terms of their implications for contemporary models of stereotyping and social inference.

Type

Article

Author(s)

Galen Bodenhausen

Date Published

1994

Citations

Bodenhausen, Galen. 1994. Stereotypes as energy-saving devices: A peek inside the cognitive toolbox. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 66(1): 37-47.

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