Salient egalitarian norms moderate activation of out-group approach and avoidance

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Recent research suggests that interaction-appropriate behavior may be automatically triggered by exposure to an out-group cue. Two experiments investigated the role of prejudice and salient egalitarian norms in determining the activation of two fundamental behavioral responses: approach and avoidance. The activation of approach and avoidance was investigated as a function of negative attitudes towards homosexuals (Experiment 1) and African-Caribbeans (Experiment 2). Results indicated that avoidance was automatically activated in response to out-group labels among participants with prejudiced attitudes (Experiments 1 and 2) whereas approach was less activated among prejudiced participants (Experiment 2). The former effect, however, was significantly diminished when egalitarian norms have been made temporarily salient.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-165
Number of pages15
JournalGroup Processes & Intergroup Relations
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010


  • automatic processes
  • egalitarian norms
  • prejudice

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