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Does information about other people automatically affect one's own behaviour as a function of the salience of interpersonal or intergroup contexts? Study 1 revealed that exposure to an intelligent comparison target led to worse performance than exposure to an unintelligent target when an interpersonal context was salient (contrast) whereas the opposite effect was found when an intergroup context was salient. Study 2 showed better performance after exposure to an intelligent in-group target and worse performance when the in-group target was unintelligent (assimilation), whereas opposite effects were found when the target was an out-group member or when no intergroup context was salient. Finally, Study 3 showed better performance after exposure to a group of intelligent targets and worse performance after exposure to a group of unintelligent targets suggesting assimilation; opposite effects were found when the group consisted of out-group targets.