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J Pers Soc Psychol. 1997 Feb;72(2):262-74.

Evidence for racial prejudice at the implicit level and its relationship with questionnaire measures.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Colorado, USA.


The content of spontaneously activated racial stereotypes among White Americans and the relation of this to more explicit measures of stereotyping and prejudice were investigated. Using a semantic priming paradigm, a prime was presented outside of conscious awareness (BLACK or WHITE), followed by a target stimulus requiring a word-nonword decision. The target stimuli included attributes that varied in valence and stereotypicality for Whites and African Americans. Results showed reliable stereotyping and prejudice effects: Black primes resulted in substantially stronger facilitation to negative than positive stereotypic attributes, whereas White primes facilitated positive more than negative stereotypic traits. The magnitude of this implicit prejudice effect correlated reliably with participants' scores on explicit racial attitude measures, indicating that people's spontaneous stereotypic associations are consistent with their more controlled responses.

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