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Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2010 Aug;36(8):1073-85. doi: 10.1177/0146167210375817.

Person categorization and automatic racial stereotyping effects on weapon identification.

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  • 1The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210-1287, USA. jones.2333@buckeyemail.osu.edu


Prior stereotyping research provides conflicting evidence regarding the importance of person categorization along a particular dimension for the automatic activation of a stereotype corresponding to that dimension. Experiment 1 replicated a racial stereotyping effect on object identification and examined whether it could be attenuated by encouraging categorization by age. Experiment 2 employed socially complex person stimuli and manipulated whether participants categorized spontaneously or by race. In Experiment 3, the distinctiveness of the racial dimension was manipulated by having Black females appear in the context of either Black males or White females. The results indicated that conditions fostering categorization by race consistently produced automatic racial stereotyping and that conditions fostering nonracial categorization can eliminate automatic racial stereotyping. Implications for the relation between automatic stereotype activation and dimension of categorization are discussed.

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