- How do we communicate stereotypes? Linguistic bases and inferential consequences.
- Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
- Volume | Issue number
- 78 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
The linguistic expectancy bias is defined as the tendency to describe expectancy-consistent information at a higher level of abstraction than expectancy-inconsistent information. The communicative consequences of this bias were examined in 3 experiments. Analyses of judgments that recipients made on the basis of linguistically biased information generated by transmitters indicated that behavior in expectancy-consistent messages was attributed more to dispositional and less to situational factors than behavior in expectancy-inconsistent messages. Moreover, this effect was mediated by the level of linguistic abstraction of the messages. These findings provide direct evidence for the hypothesis that recipients are sensitive to variations in linguistic abstraction in spontaneous language use because of stereotypes. Results are discussed with respect to the interpersonal aspects of stereotyping.
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