Bias and regulation of bias in intergroup interactions: Implicit attitudes toward Muslims and interaction quality

Karen Gonsalkorale, William von Hippel, Jeffrey Sherman, Karl Christoph Klauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Previous research suggests that automatically activated bias manifests itself in behavior that can jeopardize the quality of intergroup interactions. However, regulation of automatic associations has the potential to attenuate their influence on intergroup interaction. To test this possibility, 46 non-Muslim White participants interacted with a Muslim confederate and completed an implicit measure of attitudes toward Muslims. The Quadruple Process model [Sherman, J. W., Gawronski, B., Gonsalkorale, K., Hugenberg, K., Allen, T. J., & Groom, C. J. (2008). The self-regulation of automatic associations and behavioral impulses. Psychological Review, 115, 314-335] was applied to the implicit measure to estimate participants' strength of negative associations with Muslims and their ability to overcome those negative associations. The confederate's ratings of how much he liked the participants were predicted by an interaction between automatic negative associations and the ability to overcome them. Specifically, when the strength of participants' negative associations with Muslims was low, participants' level of overcoming bias was unrelated to the confederate's ratings. In contrast, the ability to regulate automatic negative associations predicted greater liking when those associations were strong.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-166
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009


  • Automatic associations
  • Implicit attitudes
  • Intergroup interaction
  • Self-regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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