The roles of motivation and ability in controlling the consequences of stereotype suppression

Natalie A. Wyer, Jeffrey W. Sherman, Steven J. Stroessner

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64 Citations (Scopus)


Two experiments investigated the conditions under which previously suppressed stereotypes are applied in impression formation. In Experiment 1, the extent to which a previously suppressed racial stereotype influenced subsequent impressions depended on the race of the target who was subsequently encountered. Whereas impressions of race-unspecified targets were assimilated to the stereotype following its suppression, no such effects were observed when the target belonged to the racial group whose stereotype had been initially suppressed. These results demonstrate that when perceivers are motivated to avoid stereotyping individuals, the influence of a stereotype that has been previously activated through suppression is minimized. Experiment 2 demonstrated that these processing goals effectively reduce the impact of suppression-activated stereotypes only when perceivers have sufficient capacity to enact the goals. These results suggest that both sufficient motivation and capacity are necessary to prevent heightened stereotyping following stereotype suppression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-25
Number of pages13
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2000
Event68th Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association - Chicago, United States
Duration: 3 May 1996 → …

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