Implicit Social Cognition: Attitudes, Self-Esteem, and Stereotypes

Department of Psychology, University of Washington, Seattle 98195.
Psychological Review (Impact Factor: 7.97). 02/1995; 102(1):4-27. DOI: 10.1037//0033-295X.102.1.4
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Social behavior is ordinarily treated as being under conscious (if not always thoughtful) control. However, considerable evidence now supports the view that social behavior often operates in an implicit or unconscious fashion. The identifying feature of implicit cognition is that past experience influences judgment in a fashion not introspectively known by the actor. The present conclusion--that attitudes, self-esteem, and stereotypes have important implicit modes of operation--extends both the construct validity and predictive usefulness of these major theoretical constructs of social psychology. Methodologically, this review calls for increased use of indirect measures--which are imperative in studies of implicit cognition. The theorized ordinariness of implicit stereotyping is consistent with recent findings of discrimination by people who explicitly disavow prejudice. The finding that implicit cognitive effects are often reduced by focusing judges' attention on their judgment task provides a basis for evaluating applications (such as affirmative action) aimed at reducing such unintended discrimination.

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    • "Much like status characteristics, stereotypes can impact the performance of the groups that they are applied to (see Nguyen and Ryan, 2008), even if the group members do not agree with the stereotype themselves. However the individual must be explicitly or implicitly (Greenwald and Banaji, 1995) primed on, or otherwise made aware of, their stereotyped status or the stereotyped status of others (Aronson et al., 1999) while performing a salient task (Steele and Aronson, 1995; Shih et al., 1999). For example, a female who completes a math test in an environment that makes her sex salient will generally exhibit poorer performance relative to a female whose sex is not made salient (Steele, 1997). "
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    ABSTRACT: How does an individual's sex influence their recall of social relations? Extensive research has shown that social networks differ by sex and has attempted to explain these differences either through structural availability or individual preferences. Addressing the limitations of these explanations, we build on an increasing body of research emphasizing the role of cognition in the formation and maintenance of networks to argue that males and females may exhibit different strategies for encoding and recalling social information in memory. Further, because activating sex roles can alter cognitive performance, we propose that differences in recall may only or primarily appear when respondents are made aware of their sex. We explore differences in male and female network memory using a laboratory experiment asking respondents to memorize and recall a novel social network after receiving either a sex prime or a control prime. We find that sex significantly impacts social network recall, however being made aware of one's sex does not. Our results provide evidence that differences in male and female networks may be partly due to sex-based differences in network cognition.
    Social Networks 08/2016; 44:74-84. DOI:10.1016/j.socnet.2015.06.002 · 2.93 Impact Factor
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    • "Implicit measures utilize the performance in simple categorization tasks. Participants' associations are inferred on the basis of their objective response latencies, which are taken to reflect automatic attitudes, stereotypes, self-evaluations, or trait-like aspects of the self-concept (Greenwald & Banaji, 1995). More specifically, these constructs are captured in an associative, non-propositional form a few hundred milliseconds after stimulus presentation (Gawronski, 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: We compared the standard 2D representation of a recent violent computer game to its 3D representation realized by shutter-goggles in a lab experiment. Assuming that the higher degree of realism of media violence would impact stronger on players in a pretest–posttest design, we analyzed the influence of violent video game exposure on implicit and explicit measures of aggressiveness. According to an explicit questionnaire on aggressiveness, participants reported having becoming more peaceful, whereas an Implicit Association Test on aggressiveness (Agg-IAT) indicated that the association between self and aggressive behavior became stronger after violence exposure, confirming the unique utility of Agg-IATs in media research. The 3D visualization mode, however, did not further strengthen this association, and a mediation model of increases in aggressiveness by participants’ flow experiences was not supported. When inspecting flow experiences, an interaction effect between gender and visualization mode was evident: Male participants were more likely to have flow experiences in the high-realism (3D) format, whereas female participants were more likely to experience flow in the standard (2D) mode. We discuss the findings in the context of automatic information processing in aggression, and we contend possible changes in automatic behavioral precursors due to media influence.
    Computers in Human Behavior 12/2015; 53:278-288. DOI:10.1016/j.chb.2015.07.018 · 2.69 Impact Factor
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    • "reaching therapeutic consequences (e.g., compulsory admission). In addition, self-report 20 measures are, by definition, unsuited to capture attitudes that are introspectively unidentified 21 (Greenwald & Banaji, 1995). Accordingly, behavioral scientists have begun developing 22 diagnostic instruments that allow for an assessment of body dissatisfaction in an indirect way, that is, without having to ask for a direct self-assessment. "
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    ABSTRACT: We examined whether implicit measures of actual and ideal body image can be used to predict body dissatisfaction in young female adults. Participants completed two Implicit Relational Assessment Procedures (IRAPs) to examine their implicit beliefs concerning actual (e.g., I am thin) and desired ideal body image (e.g., I want to be thin). Body dissatisfaction was examined via self-report questionnaires and rating scales. As expected, differences in body dissatisfaction exerted a differential influence on the two IRAP scores. Specifically, the implicit belief that one is thin was lower in participants who exhibited a high degree of body dissatisfaction than in participants who exhibited a low degree of body dissatisfaction. In contrast, the implicit desire to be thin (i.e., thin ideal body image) was stronger in participants who exhibited a high level of body dissatisfaction than in participants who were less dissatisfied with their body. Adding further weight to the idea that both IRAP measures captured different underlying constructs, we also observed that they correlated differently with body mass index, explicit body dissatisfaction, and explicit measures of actual and ideal body image. More generally, these findings underscore the advantage of using implicit measures that incorporate relational information relative to implicit measures that allow for an assessment of associative relations only.
    Frontiers in Psychology 09/2015; 6:1402. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01402 · 2.80 Impact Factor
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