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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2007 Dec;93(6):1028-39.

Stereotypes help people connect with others in the community: a situated functional analysis of the stereotype consistency bias in communication.

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Department of Social Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, van der Boerchorstraat 1, 1081 BT, Amsterdam.


Communicators tend to share more stereotype-consistent than stereotype-inconsistent information. The authors propose and test a situated functional model of this stereotype consistency bias: stereotype-consistent and inconsistent information differentially serve 2 central functions of communication--sharing information and regulating relationships; depending on the communication context, information seen to serve these different functions better is more likely communicated. Results showed that stereotype-consistent information is perceived as more socially connective but less informative than inconsistent information, and when the stereotype is perceived to be highly shared in the community, more stereotype-consistent than inconsistent information is communicated due to its greater social connectivity function. These results highlight the need to examine communication as a dynamic and situated social activity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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