Stereotype Suppression in a Social Context
Landon D. Reid Robert S. Wyer Jr. Uniuersitg of Illinois at Urbona -- Champaign
A specification of the conditions in which cultural and social stereotypes influence judgments and behavior could have far-reaching implications for interpersonal relations. The fact that more than 40 years of social psychological research have been devoted to the attainment of this objective testifies to its importance. Despite the enormous amount of work that has been done, however, a general theoretical framework within which the determinants and effects of stereotypes can be conceptualized and predicted has not emerged. Consequently, a comprehensive understanding of stereotyping phenomena has not yet been attained.
For this reason, the formulation outlined by Bodenhausen and Macrae in this volume is a milestone. Their formulation addresses the interactive effects of both cognitive and motivational factors on the use of stereotypes. In doing so, it takes into account the impact of stereotypes at several different stages of information processing, from the initial attention to and interpretation of information about a person to the generation of an overt response. Moreover, it specifies many ways in which both situational and individual difference variables combine to influence the impact of stereotypes on judgments and decisions. It is unquestionably a major contribution to social psychological theorizing.