Reducing the expression of implicit stereotypes: Reflexive control through implementation intentions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The authors tested the effectiveness of implementation intentions as a strategy for limiting the behavioral expression of implicit stereotypes. Implementation intentions are if-then plans that link an intended response to an anticipated situational cue, thereby enabling a reflexive form of control. The authors examined whether two different types of implementation intentions could improve response accuracy on the Shooter Task, a reaction time measure of implicit stereotyping. In Study 1, participants used a distraction-inhibiting implementation intention designed to engage control over the perception of goal-irrelevant stimuli (e.g., race). In Study 2, participants used a response-facilitating implementation intention designed to promote goal-directed action. Across studies, implementation intentions improved accuracy, thereby limiting the behavioral expression of implicit stereotypes. Furthermore, process dissociation analyses indicated that the distraction-inhibiting implementation intention increased controlled processing while reducing automatic stereotype activation, whereas the response-facilitating implementation intention increased only controlled processing. Implications for goal strategy approaches to reducing prejudice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)512-523
Number of pages12
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Volume36
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2010

Keywords

  • Control
  • Goals
  • Implementation intentions
  • Process dissociation
  • Stereotypes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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