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J Consult Clin Psychol. 1999 Jun;67(3):387-93.

Conscious and nonconscious African American stereotypes: impact on first impression and diagnostic ratings by therapists.

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Division of Counseling Psychology, University of Southern California, School of Education, Los Angeles 90089-0031, USA.


Sixty therapists randomly assigned to 1 of 2 priming conditions were primed with African American stereotypes or neutral words using 80-ms flash words on a computer screen. This procedure may activate information processing outside of conscious awareness. After this task, participants were exposed to a brief vignette introducing Mr. X, a patient referred for treatment, and then were asked to rate Mr. X on various dimensions. Results indicate that participants primed with stereotype words rated Mr. X significantly less favorably on hostility-related attributes and significantly more favorably on hostility-unrelated attributes than did participants primed with neutral words. The findings suggest that therapists can be affected by African American stereotypes in ways that produce negative or positive first impressions depending on the nature of the attribute that is rated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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