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


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.

  • Source
    • "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). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2016 · Social Networks
  • Source
    • "Discussion of hot cognition. Research in psychology shows strong evidence for the automaticity of nonpolitical attitudes (Bargh et al., 1992;Fazio, 1992;Greenwald & Banaji, 1995), and we also find consistent and robust evidence of the spontaneous evaluation of political leaders, groups, and issues, especially for strong univalent attitudes and for political sophisticates. These effects are not consciously controlled, and they hold for semantically unrelated primes and targets. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: What are the fundamental causes of human behavior and to what degree is it intended, consciously controlled? We review the literature on automaticity in human behavior with an emphasis on our own theory of motivated political reasoning, John Q. Public, and the experimental evidence we have collected (Lodge & Taber, 2013). Our fundamental theoretical claim is that affective and cognitive reactions to external and internal events are triggered unconsciously, followed spontaneously by the spreading of activation through associative pathways that link thoughts to feelings to intentions to behavior, so that very early events, even those that are invisible to conscious awareness, set the direction for all subsequent processing. We find evidence in support of four hypotheses that are central to our theory: hot cognition, affect transfer, affect contagion, and motivated bias.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2016 · Political Psychology
  • Source
    • "Particularly fascinating is the heritability of the implicit gender-science stereotype. Implicit social cognition has been extensively studied in past decades and substantial progresses have been made in understanding the nature of implicit attitudes , prejudice, and stereotypes (Gawronski & Payne, 2010).Heretofore, it has been widely assumed that implicit social cognition , including the implicit gender-science stereotype, is a kind of learned experience and is determined by environment (Dasgupta, 2013;Gawronski & Sritharan, 2010;Greenwald & Banaji, 1995). Our findings suggest that this is not true: about 38% of the variation in the implicit gender-science stereotype can be accounted for by genetic factors, which may partially explain why the gender-science stereotype is still persistent in cultures where females actually outperform males in science, such as in Singapore (Cvencek et al., 2014). "

    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Social Psychological and Personality Science
Show more