Implicit motivation to control prejudice

Jack Glaser, Eric D. Knowles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This research examines whether spontaneous, unintentional discriminatory behavior can be moderated by an implicit (nonconscious) motivation to control prejudice. We operationalize implicit motivation to control prejudice (IMCP) in terms of an implicit negative attitude toward prejudice (NAP) and an implicit belief that oneself is prejudiced (BOP). In the present experiment, an implicit stereotypic association of Blacks (vs. Whites) with weapons was positively correlated with the tendency to "shoot" armed Black men faster than armed White men (the "Shooter Bias") in a computer simulation. However, participants relatively high in implicit negative attitude toward prejudice showed no relation between the race-weapons stereotype and the shooter bias. Implicit belief that oneself is prejudiced had no direct effect on this relation, but the interaction of NAP and BOP did. Participants who had a strong association between self and prejudice (high BOP) but a weak association between prejudice and bad (low NAP) showed the strongest relation between the implicit race-weapons stereotype and the Shooter Bias, suggesting that these individuals freely employed their stereotypes in their behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)164-172
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008


  • Automatic
  • Control
  • Discrimination
  • Egalitarianism
  • Implicit
  • Motivation
  • Prejudice
  • Stereotyping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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