A control-based account of stereotyping
Anyi Ma, Jordan Axt & Aaron Kay
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, forthcoming
Drawing from compensatory control theory, we propose that because stereotypes provide psychological assurance that the world is orderly and predictable, stereotyping should increase among those lacking control. Four studies support this control-based account of stereotyping: lower personal control, both measured (Studies 1 and 3) and manipulated (Study 2a and 2b), was associated with greater gender (Studies 1, 2a, and 2b) and occupational stereotyping (Study 3). Furthermore, the association between control and stereotyping was mediated by need for structure (Studies 2a, 2b, and 3). We also explore the moderating role of interdependent self-construal (Studies 1 to 3). These findings have implications for our understanding of when, why and to what end people stereotype others.
Pattern deviancy aversion predicts prejudice via a dislike of statistical minorities
Anton Gollwitzer, Julia Marshall & John Bargh
Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, forthcoming
Research has documented an overlap between people’s aversion toward nonsocial pattern deviancy (e.g., a row of triangles with 1 triangle out of line) and their social prejudice. It is unknown which processes underlie this association, however, and whether this link is causal. We propose that pattern deviancy aversion may contribute to prejudice by heightening people’s dislike of statistical minorities. Infrequent people in a population are pattern deviant in that they disrupt the statistical regularities of how people tend to look, think, and act in society, and this deviancy should incite others’ prejudice. Nine studies (N = 1,821) supported this mediation. In Studies 1.1 and 1.2, adults’ and young children’s nonsocial pattern deviancy aversion related to disliking novel statistical minorities, and this dislike predicted prejudice against Black people. Studies 1.3 and 1.4 observed this mediation when experimentally manipulating pattern deviancy aversion, although pattern deviancy aversion did not directly impact racial prejudice. Study-set 2 replicated the proposed mediation in terms of prejudice against other commonly stigmatized individuals (e.g., someone with a physical disability). Importantly, we also found pattern deviancy aversion to affect such prejudice. Study-set 3 provided additional support for the mediation model. Pattern deviancy aversion predicted prejudice dependent on group-size, for instance, greater racial prejudice in cases where Black people are the statistical minority, but decreased racial prejudice when Black people are the statistical majority. Taken together, these findings indicate that people’s aversion toward pattern deviancy motivates prejudice, and that this influence is partially driven by a dislike of statistical minorities.
Unite against: A common threat invokes spontaneous decategorization between social categories
Felicitas Flade, Yechiel Klar & Roland Imhoff
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, forthcoming
A frequent rhetoric in the political arena calls members of larger groups like nations to lay aside all dividing differences and unite in face of a common threat. In the present research we sought to test whether such a unifying effect of external threat already manifests in such basic cognitive processes as automatic categorization even for such strong schisms as the ones between black and white Americans or Israeli Jews and Arabs. In Studies 1 & 2 (N = 183/144, USA), we established the decategorization effect in the context of black and white US Americans. In Study 3, we showed the effect again in a German lab for the gender category (N = 101). In Study 4 (N = 168, Israel), we transferred the effect to the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and teased apart the separate effects of intergroup threat, common goal and common threat, and category membership of participants. In summary, a “common enemy” leads to the decategorization of social groups already at an early automatic stage.
The Acquisition of Gender Stereotypes about Intellectual Ability: Intersections with Race
Jilana Jaxon et al.
Journal of Social Issues, forthcoming
The common stereotype that brilliance is a male trait is an obstacle to women's success in many prestigious careers. This gender‐brilliance stereotype is powerful in part because it seems to be acquired early in life and might thus shape girls’ career aspirations. To date, however, research on this stereotype has not considered how its acquisition might intersect with (1) the other social identities that men and women are perceived to hold, and (2) the social identities that children themselves hold. The present study examined these open questions. First, we compared 5‐ and 6‐year‐old children's (N = 203) assumptions about the intellectual abilities of White men and women with their assumptions about the intellectual abilities of Black men and women. Second, we compared White children's assumptions about the intellectual abilities of men and women with those of children of color (primarily Latinx, Black, and Asian). The results suggested two main conclusions: First, children learn to associate White men (vs. women), but not Black men (vs. women), with brilliance. In fact, children generally see Black men as less brilliant than Black women. Second, the results suggested that the stereotype associating White men with brilliance is shared by children regardless of their own race. These results add considerable nuance to the literature on the development of gender stereotypes about intellectual ability and have implications for policies that might be implemented to prevent the negative effects of these stereotypes.
Men over women: The social transmission of gender stereotypes through spatial elevation
Sarah Ariel Lamer & Max Weisbuch
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, forthcoming
People draw from physical properties like spatial location to better understand complex concepts like power (Landau, Meier, & Keefer, 2010; T. W. Schubert, 2005). We examined the cultural implications of such associations for gender stereotypes. Specifically, we hypothesized that people would make location-based attributions of power and dominance when targets are situated in noisy, real-world environments (i.e., magazine pages; Study 1); that men generally appear higher than women across print media (Study 2: Content Analysis); and that this gender-location association would ultimately cause perceivers to think that men (in general) are more powerful and dominant people than are women (Study 3; meta-analysis). Results supported hypotheses and indicate that exposure to this cultural pattern in which men are higher than women (i.e., male spatial elevation) causes perceivers to endorse gender stereotypes of dominance. Accordingly, gender-location associations may account in part for the social transmission of gender stereotypes.
The Duality of Stigmatization: An Examination of Differences in Collateral Consequences for Black and White Sex Offenders
Vanessa Woodward Griffin & Mary Evans
Justice Quarterly, forthcoming
Isolating particular groups of individuals is nothing novel within American society, and two prevalent examples of this are the historical and current treatment of Blacks and sex offenders. To date, few studies have examined how race is related to sex offenders’ experiences, never mind how race compounds the effects of social stigmatization for registered sex offenders (RSOs). Using a statewide sample of RSOs (n = 306), the primary goal of this study is to examine how race is related to sex offenders’ experiences and perceived stigma are impacted by sex offender policies. Findings showed significant differences in the experiences and perceptions of Black and White sex offenders. Specifically, Blacks reported fewer experiences of collateral consequences, and overall a lower degree of perceived stigma. Implications are discussed.
How gender affects the efficacy of discussion as an information shortcut
Yanna Krupnikov et al.
Political Science Research and Methods, forthcoming
There are a number of observed gender differences in the frequency of political discussion, perceived levels of expertise, and importantly, openness to persuasion. This article explores the consequences of these differences for political choices. Given the difficulty in separating influence from homophily with observational data, this paper relies on a group-based experiment. Results suggest that when selecting between candidates, women are more likely to accept information from others, even if the information in the signals is not helpful. Men, on the other hand, often ignore outside signals in favor of sticking with their own choices even when outside signals would be helpful to their decision-making. A reanalysis of a previously published experiment on social communication leads to similar gender differences.
I Don't See Race (or Conflict): Strategic Descriptions of Ambiguous Negative Intergroup Contexts
Francine Karmali et al.
Journal of Social Issues, forthcoming
Despite current societal trends to encourage diversity, individuals often avoid acknowledging race, and we suggest also conflict, because of concerns about appearing prejudiced. The present research investigated the use of racial color and conflict blind strategies in an ambiguous negative intergroup context. In three studies, we assessed whether people acknowledged race and conflict using a novel ambiguous context task. Study 1 demonstrated that when describing an intergroup interaction with a photograph of Black and White males bumping into one another, only 27% of participants used racial labels and approximately half (53%) mentioned conflict. In Study 2, when participants described two White males in the same situation, significantly fewer participants mentioned conflict compared to when the photograph depicted a Black and White male actor, but rates of mentioning race were not different. Finally, in Study 3, when participants were instructed to use race when describing the actors, they mentioned conflict significantly less than when they were free to avoid racial labels. These latter results suggest that although racial color blindness may be used to appear unbiased, when this strategy is unavailable, people may resort to not referencing intergroup negativity. Together these findings indicate that racial color and conflict blindness may work in conjunction as compensatory strategies to appearing nonprejudiced.
Trickle-Round Signals: When Low Status Is Mixed with High
Silvia Bellezza & Jonah Berger
Journal of Consumer Research, forthcoming
Trickle-down theories suggest that status symbols and fashion trends originate from the elites and move downward, but some high-end restaurants serve lowbrow food (e.g., potato chips, macaroni and cheese), and some high-status individuals wear downscale clothing (e.g., ripped jeans, duct-taped shoes). Why would high-status actors adopt items traditionally associated with low-status groups? Using a signaling perspective to explain this phenomenon, the authors suggest that elites sometimes adopt items associated with low-status groups as a costly signal to distinguish themselves from middle-status individuals. As a result, signals sometimes trickle round, moving directly from the lower to the upper class, before diffusing to the middle class. Furthermore, consistent with a signaling perspective, the presence of multiple signaling dimensions facilitates this effect, enabling the highs to mix and match high and low signals and differentiate themselves. These findings deepen the understanding of signaling dynamics, support a trickle-round theory of fashion, and shed light on alternative status symbols.
Evidence for the reproduction of social class in brief speech
Michael Kraus et al.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, forthcoming
Economic inequality is at its highest point on record and is linked to poorer health and well-being across countries. The forces that perpetuate inequality continue to be studied, and here we examine how a person’s position within the economic hierarchy, their social class, is accurately perceived and reproduced by mundane patterns embedded in brief speech. Studies 1 through 4 examined the extent that people accurately perceive social class based on brief speech patterns. We find that brief speech spoken out of context is sufficient to allow respondents to discern the social class of speakers at levels above chance accuracy, that adherence to both digital and subjective standards for English is associated with higher perceived and actual social class of speakers, and that pronunciation cues in speech communicate social class over and above speech content. In study 5, we find that people with prior hiring experience use speech patterns in preinterview conversations to judge the fit, competence, starting salary, and signing bonus of prospective job candidates in ways that bias the process in favor of applicants of higher social class. Overall, this research provides evidence for the stratification of common speech and its role in both shaping perceiver judgments and perpetuating inequality during the briefest interactions.
An information sampling explanation for the in-group heterogeneity effect
Elizaveta Konovalova & Gaël Le Mens
Psychological Review, forthcoming
People often perceive their in-groups as more heterogeneous than their out-groups. We propose an information sampling explanation for this in-group heterogeneity effect. We note that people frequently obtain larger samples of information about in-groups than about out-groups. Using computer simulations, we show that this asymmetry in sample sizes implies the in-group heterogeneity effect under a wide range of assumptions about how experience affects perceived variability. This is the case even when perceived variability is the outcome of rational information processing, implying that the structure of the environment is sufficient to explain the emergence of the in-group heterogeneity effect. A key assumption of our explanation is that perceived group variability depends on the size of the sample observed about this group. We provide evidence in support for this assumption in two experiments. Our results considerably expand the scope and relevance of a prior sampling explanation proposed by Linville, Fischer, and Salovey (1989). They also complement other explanations that proposed that information about in-groups and out-groups is processed differently.
The Influence of Incidental Tokenism on Private Evaluations of Stereotype-Typifying Products
Iman Paul, Jeffrey Parker & Sara Loughran
Social Psychology Quarterly, forthcoming
Findings from five studies demonstrate that being an incidental token member in a transient group (e.g., a woman in a group of mostly men in a store line) lowers individuals’ private evaluations of products that typify the negative stereotypes of the tokenized identity. Incidental tokenism activates negative stereotypes associated with the tokenized identity, which subsequently leads to a desire to disassociate specifically from identity-linked products that typify those stereotypes as opposed to all identity-linked products in general. Consistent with this theorizing, similar results emerge when negative stereotypes are activated directly, and the effect is attenuated when tokenized individuals are self-affirmed. These results demonstrate the largely unexamined consequences of being a token group member on private evaluations (vs. public behavior) in subjective, preference-based (vs. objective, performance-based) domains.
The Heroes and the Helpless: The Development of Benevolent Sexism in Children
Brenda Gutierrez et al.
Sex Roles, forthcoming
Gender-stereotypical attitudes that males should be the protectors and that females need special care as the more delicate gender may reflect foundational components of benevolent sexism; however, children’s attitudes regarding these roles have yet to be explored. The current study interviewed 113 U.S. children ages 3–11 years-old, presenting scenarios asking who should come to the rescue and who should receive special care (e.g., when tired or hurt). Results indicated that boys, across ages, believed that boys should be the heroes. Girls and boys selected their own gender to receive special care for physical needs, although these biases decreased with age. These findings suggest that stereotypical attitudes regarding roles for one’s own gender may be present in early childhood, but attitudes regarding roles for the other gender may develop later. Benevolent sexist attitudes related to protective paternalism may emerge younger than previously thought. We discuss possible implications for later help-seeking behaviors, dependency, and support for gender equality.
The sweet spot: Curvilinear effects of media exemplar typicality on stereotype change
Nick Joyce, Jake Harwood & Sheila Springer
Journal of Media Psychology, forthcoming
Young adults were exposed to experimentally manipulated stereotypical, counterstereotypical, or extremely counterstereotypical media depictions of an older adult driving. Perceptions of exemplar typicality and beliefs about older adults’ driving ability were assessed. The results support a curvilinear model in which there is a point, or “sweet spot,” where exemplars are perceived as typical enough of their group to be seen as cognitively related and relevant to perceptions of the group, but still atypical enough to change perceptions and beliefs. We discuss implications of these findings for group-related cognitions, subtyping, and media depictions of older adults.