Examining the Relationships Among Categorization, Stereotype Activation, and Stereotype Application

Heather Rose Rees, Debbie S. Ma, Jeffrey W. Sherman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Increased category salience is associated with increased stereotyping. Prior research has not examined the processes that may account for this relationship. That is, it is unclear whether category salience leads to increased stereotyping by increasing stereotype activation (i.e., increased accessibility of stereotypic information), application (i.e., increasing the tendency to apply activated stereotypes), or both processes simultaneously. We examined this question across three studies by manipulating category salience in an implicit stereotyping measure and by applying a process model that provides independent estimates of stereotype activation and application. Our results replicated past findings that category salience increases stereotyping. Modeling results showed that category salience consistently increased the extent of stereotype application but increased stereotype activation in more limited contexts. Implications for models of social categorization and stereotyping are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019


  • category salience
  • process modeling
  • social categorization
  • stereotype activation
  • stereotype application
  • stereotyping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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