In attempting to inhibit their stereotypes, suppressors may direct greater attention toward the very behaviors whose influence they seek to avoid. In an empirical demonstration of this effect, some participants were instructed to suppress their use of stereotypes while forming impressions of an Asian woman who revealed stereotypical and nonstereotypical behaviors. Unlike a control group who merely formed impressions, these suppressors later recognized stereotypical behaviors significantly more accurately than nonstereotypical behaviors. Because memory was assessed with a recognition measure, these findings minimize the possibility that the results were due to differential reliance on stereotype-based retrieval cues by suppressors and non-suppressors. These findings have important implications for people's ability to successfully avoid stereotyping others.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology