Drawing from models of mental control and cognitive self-regulation, it was hypothesized that heightened self-focus would promote the spontaneous suppression of social stereotypes. Participants who were induced to experience heightened self-focus indeed produced less stereotypic descriptions of social targets (Studies 1-4). Study 5 further demonstrated that self-focus produced reductions in stereotyping only among those participants whose personal standards dictated stereotype avoidance. A final study demonstrated that these spontaneous forms of stereotype suppression can produce a rebound effect, in which the magnitude of stereotyping increases markedly after a period of suppression. These findings are considered in the context of contemporary issues in mental control and social stereotyping.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science