- Seeing one thing and doing another: Contrast effects in automatic behavior.
- Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
- Volume | Issue number
- 75 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Research on automatic behavior demonstrates the ability of stereotypes to elicit stereotype-consistent behavior. Social judgment research proposes that whereas traits and stereotypes elicit assimilation, priming of exemplars can elicit judgmental contrast by evoking social comparisons. This research extends these findings by showing that priming exemplars can elicit behavioral contrast by evoking a social comparison. In Study 1, priming professor or supermodel stereotypes led, respectively, to more and fewer correct answers on a knowledge test (behavioral assimilation), but priming exemplars of these categories led to the reverse pattern (behavioral contrast). In Study 2, participants walked away faster after being primed with an elderly exemplar. In Study 3, the proposition that contrast effects reflect comparisons of the self with the exemplar was supported.
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