Low-prejudice people vary considerably in their ability to regulate intergroup responses. The authors hypothesized that this variability arises from a neural mechanism for monitoring conflict between automatic race-biased tendencies and egalitarian intentions. In Study 1, they found that low-prejudice participants whose nonprejudiced responses are motivated by internal (but not external) factors exhibited better control on a stereotype-inhibition task than did participants motivated by a combination of internal and external factors. This difference was associated with greater conflict-monitoring activity, measured by event-related potentials, when responses required stereotype inhibition. Study 2 demonstrated that group differences were specific to response control in the domain of prejudice. Results indicate that conflict monitoring, a preconscious component of response control, accounts for variability in intergroup bias among low-prejudice participants.
- conflict monitoring
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science