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On resisting the temptation for simplification: Counterintentional effects of stereotype suppression on social memory, Social Cognition

Abstract

In two studies, we investigated the process and consequences of stereotype suppression. In Study 1, participants formed impressions of a target, via an audio-taped self-description, while simultaneously responding to a randomly presented probe stimulus (i.e., probe reaction task). While performing the impression-formation task, some participants were instructed to inhibit their stereotypes about the target's social group; others were given no such instruction. The results demonstrated: (i) that stereotype suppression is an effortful, resource-demanding mental process; and (ii) that stereotype suppression ironically reduces attentional resources available for processing target-related information. Study 2 replicated the finding that stereotype suppressors had impaired memory for nonstereotypic individuating information and revealed another ironic consequence of mental control. Specifically, following a period of stereotype suppression, participants demonstrated enhanced recall for the formerly unwanted stereotypic material.

Type

Article

Author(s)

Galen Bodenhausen

Date Published

1996

Citations

Bodenhausen, Galen. 1996. On resisting the temptation for simplification: Counterintentional effects of stereotype suppression on social memory. Social Cognition. 14(1): 1-20.

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