neutral priming condition. Although it seems important to determine whether individual differences (level of sexism, discrepancy proneness) moderates these effects, clearly participants were not hesitant to apply activated stereotypes to relevant targets, and they only applied the stereotypes in relation to relevant targets.
As Fiske and Stevens (1993) pointed out, gender stereotypes may be fundamentally different than stereotypes related to race, age, or disability. First, gender stereotypes are strongly prescriptive; they inform women and men of what they should be like, rather than simply being descriptive stereotypes. Second, norms against the expression of sexism are not as strong as norms against the expression of other forms of prejudice. Third, many stereotypes about women are benevolent in nature, such as the idea that women should be helped and protected (Glick & Fiske, 1996). These factors, which are all related to the social context in which stereotypes are developed and maintained, may contribute to a general disinclination to attempt to self-regulate one's sexist responses.
Our review of relevant literature led us to conclude that there are many reasons, stemming from social cognitive factors alone, that stereotypes are likely to be used as a basis for responding to members of stereotyped groups. Our review also suggested that individuals can use many strategies for controlling prejudiced responses, but that these strategies have important boundary conditions related to perceivers having sufficient motivation, awareness, and cognitive resources to implement the strategies. Nevertheless, we are optimistic about the potential for control over prejudiced responses because we believe there is sufficient theoretical reason and empirical support to expect that stereotyping is a process that can be deautomatized. Future research may reveal just how much control is possible, and we identified a variety of issues that we believe should be considered as this research unfolds.
Although our position is that the processes involved in automatic stereotyping effects can be controlled and changed, we wish to underscore a distinction between what people can do and what they ultimately will do. Exerting control over prejudiced responses is no easy task. Even the most highly motivated individuals will no doubt experience frustrations and difficulties of a variety of forms. Thus, an important future challenge for researchers examining issues of control in stereotyping is to understand not only how people can exert control over prejudiced responses, but also how they can be encouraged to persist in their efforts to do so.
Preparation of this chapter was supported in part by Grant 1R29MH56536 from the National Institute of Mental Health to Margo Monteith.