On Activating Exemplars

C. Neil MacRae, Galen V. Bodenhausen, Alan B. Milne, Luigi Castelli, Astrid M. Schloerscheidt, Sasha Greco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


In four experiments, we investigated the automaticity of exemplar activation. In the first three studies, using a modified flanker task, we investigated the involuntary activation of exemplar-based representations in the presence of triggering verbal stimuli. Results of all three studies demonstrated the unintentional activation of exemplars in memory. In addition, we also identified the temporal parameters (i.e., Study 2) and cerebral localization (i.e., Study 3) of exemplar-based interference effects. In Study 4, we considered the behavioral consequences of exemplar activation. As predicted, the results demonstrated a direct effect of exemplar activation on participants' behavior. We discuss our findings in the context of contemporary issues in person perception and behavioral priming.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)330-354
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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