Some extended psychological benefits of challenging social stereotypes:decreased dehumanization and a reduced reliance on heuristic thinking


One way to promote equality is to encourage people to generate counterstereotypic role models. In two experiments, we demonstrate that such interventions have much broader benefits than previously thoughtreducing a reliance on heuristic thinking and decreasing tendencies to dehumanize outgroups. In Experiment 1, participants who thought about a gender counterstereotype (e.g., a female mechanic) demonstrated a generalized decrease in dehumanization towards a range of unrelated target groups (including asylum seekers and the homeless). In Experiment 2 we replicated these findings using alternative targets and measures of dehumanization. Furthermore, we found the effect was mediated by a reduced reliance on heuristic thinking. The findings suggest educational initiatives that aim to challenge social stereotypes may not only have societal benefits (generalized tolerance), but also tangible benefits for individuals (enhanced cognitive flexibility).

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School
Uncontrolled Keywords: categorization,counterstereotypes,dehumanization,heuristics,prejudice
Publication ISSN: 1461-7188
Full Text Link: http://gpi.sage ... ontent/18/6/801
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PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2015-11
Published Online Date: 2015-02-25
Accepted Date: 2014-11-19
Submitted Date: 2013-10-18
Authors: Prati, Francesca
Vasiljevic, Milica
Crisp, Richard J.
Rubini, Monica



Version: Accepted Version

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