Research on automatic stereotyping is dominated by the idea that automatic stereotyping reflects the activation of (group–trait) associations. In two preregistered experiments (total N = 391), we tested predictions derived from an alternative perspective that suggests that automatic stereotyping is the result of the activation of propositional representations that, unlike associations, can encode relational information and have truth values. Experiment 1 found that automatic stereotyping is sensitive to the validity of information about pairs of traits and groups. Experiment 2 showed that automatic stereotyping is sensitive to the specific relations (e.g., whether a particular group is more or less friendly than a reference person) between pairs of traits and groups. Interestingly, both experiments found a weaker influence of validity/relational information on automatic stereotyping than on non-automatic stereotyping. We discuss the implications of these findings for research on automatic stereotyping.
- automatic stereotyping
- implicit stereotypes
- propositional representations
- relational information
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology