Cognitive models of stereotype change (4): Motivational and cognitive influences

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Abstract

Three experiments investigating the effects of cognitive and motivational factors on stereotype change are reported. Trait ratings in all three experiments showed there to be greater stereotype-change when stereotype-inconsistent information was dispersed across many group members than when it was concentrated in only a few. A sorting task (Experiment 1) indicated that, in the concentrated conditions the stereotype disconfirmers were more strongly isolated from the rest of the group than in the dispersed conditions. Free recall protocols (Experiment 2) showed greater memory for the target exemplars when subjects anticipated interaction with a group member than when no interaction was anticipated. The questions subject chose to ask target group exemplars were also influenced by anticlpated future interaction. Subjects chose more stereotype-inconsistent questions when interactian was anticipated than when no interaction was anticipated. Experment 3 showed the impact of stereotype-inconsistent information to be greater when expectancies for the stereotyped group are weaker A cued-recall task yielded evidence of spontaneous subtyping.

All these studies support the subtyping model, even in the presence of cognitive and motivational factors that might be expected to impede stereotype change.

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