Racial Stereotypes

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Theoretically, the present work examined the role of personal endorsement of cultural stereotypes. Devine (1989) proposed that because of the repeated and virtually unavoidable exposure to pervasive cultural stereotypes, both high and low prejudiced individuals will automatically activate these representations when they are presented with representations of those groups regardless of their personal level of endorsement of these stereotypes (i.e., personal stereotypes). Recently, Lepore and Brown (1997) highlighted an important distinction between stereotype priming and category priming. Stereotype priming involves cueing stereotypic characteristics (e.g., lazy) directly, with or without the category label (e.g., Black). Categorization priming occurs when only the category (e.g., Black) is cued in isolation of any stereotypic characteristics. Lepore and Brown noted that Devine's (1989, Study 2) research involved both stereotypic priming and category priming simultaneously, and they observed, "Many primes had clear negative connotations ... that could have directly cued hostility" (p. 276). The absence of differences in the responses of high and low prejudiced participants in the Devine study may thus have occurred because of the direct activation of semantic associations involved in stereotype priming rather than because of a close association between the category alone and the stereotype. Lepore and Brown (1997) further argued that "high-and low-prejudice people's representations of the social group may not differ in terms of content (at least for stereotype knowledge) but stronger links may have developed for different characteristics" (p. 277). Lepore and Brown reasoned that, as a consequence of this differential strength of associative links with the category, high and low prejudiced people would show divergent automatic stereotype activation as a function of category priming. Consistent with their hypothesis, using Devine's (1989, Study 2) priming and...
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