Social context and the self-regulation of implicit bias

Thomas J. Allen, Jeffrey W. Sherman, Karl Christoph Klauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Placing outgroup members in positive social contexts can reduce implicit bias. Different contexts may activate different associations of the group. Alternatively, contexts may act as cues for inhibiting bias. We applied the Quad model (Sherman et al., 2008) to address these possibilities. We also examined how motivation moderates these effects. Participants completed a Black-White evaluative priming task with primes presented in positive versus negative contexts and a measure of motivation to control prejudice. Results showed less implicit bias in positive versus negative contexts and that this effect was stronger among highly motivated participants. Modeling revealed that these effects were related to inhibition of biased associations, but not to changing the associations that were activated. Implications for prejudice reduction are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-149
Number of pages13
JournalGroup Processes and Intergroup Relations
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2010


  • Implicit attitudes
  • Inhibition
  • Motivation
  • Prejudice
  • Social context

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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