Preconscious control of stereotype activation through chronic egalitarian goals

Gordon B. Moskowitz, Peter M. Gollwitzer, Wolfgang Wasel, Bernd Schaal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This research shows stereotype activation is controlled by chronic egalitarian goals. In the first 2 studies it was found that the stereotype of women is equally available to individuals with and without chronic goals, and the discriminant validity of the concept of egalitarian goals was established. In the next 2 experiments, differences in stereotype activation as a function of this individual difference were found. In Study 3, participants read attributes following stereotypical primes. Facilitated response times to stereotypical attributes were found for nonchronics but not for chronics. This lack of facilitation occurred at stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs) where effortful correction processes could not operate, demonstrating preconscious control of stereotype activation due to chronic goals. In Study 4, inhibition of the stereotype was found at an SOA where effortful processes of stereotype suppression could not operate. The data reveal that goals are activated and used preconsciously to prevent stereotype activation, demonstrating both the controllability of stereotype activation and the implicit role of goals in cognitive control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-184
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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