Event Title

Assessing Activation in Memory for Positive and Negative Stereotypes

Location

CSU 201

Start Date

5-4-2010 10:00 AM

End Date

5-4-2010 12:00 PM

Student's Major

Psychology

Student's College

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Mentor's Name

Karla Lassonde

Mentor's Department

Psychology

Mentor's College

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Description

Stereotypical knowledge is typically thought to represent negative characteristics of a group. However, researchers have identified that stereotypes can be both positive and negative (e.g., Maratos, 2001; Shih, Pittinsky, & Ambady, 1999). Studies have shown that negative stereotypes, compared to positive stereotypes, can evoke levels of bias and emotion (e.g., Maratos, 2001). As a result, the processing and embeddedness of positive and negative stereotypical knowledge in memory may differ. In the current study a reading task, which has been validated to measure activation of stereotypical knowledge (Lassonde, 2008), was used to determine whether or not stereotype activation differs as a function of valence.

Fifty undergraduate psychology students at Minnesota State University read a series of 24 passages. The passages contained information about a character which was intended to activate either a positive or negative stereotype. This context was followed by a target sentence in which information was consistent with either the positive or negative stereotype, inconsistent with either the positive or negative stereotype, or neutral.

The time it took participants to read target sentences was recorded.

Faster reading times for target sentences containing information consistent with activated stereotypes, for both positive and negative characteristics, compared to reading times on target sentences that are either neutral or inconsistent would demonstrate that positive and negative stereotypes are equally accessible in memory. Differences in reading times on target sentences containing positive and negative stereotypes (e.g., reading times are either faster or slower) may indicate that stereotype accessibility differs as a function of valence.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 5th, 10:00 AM Apr 5th, 12:00 PM

Assessing Activation in Memory for Positive and Negative Stereotypes

CSU 201

Stereotypical knowledge is typically thought to represent negative characteristics of a group. However, researchers have identified that stereotypes can be both positive and negative (e.g., Maratos, 2001; Shih, Pittinsky, & Ambady, 1999). Studies have shown that negative stereotypes, compared to positive stereotypes, can evoke levels of bias and emotion (e.g., Maratos, 2001). As a result, the processing and embeddedness of positive and negative stereotypical knowledge in memory may differ. In the current study a reading task, which has been validated to measure activation of stereotypical knowledge (Lassonde, 2008), was used to determine whether or not stereotype activation differs as a function of valence.

Fifty undergraduate psychology students at Minnesota State University read a series of 24 passages. The passages contained information about a character which was intended to activate either a positive or negative stereotype. This context was followed by a target sentence in which information was consistent with either the positive or negative stereotype, inconsistent with either the positive or negative stereotype, or neutral.

The time it took participants to read target sentences was recorded.

Faster reading times for target sentences containing information consistent with activated stereotypes, for both positive and negative characteristics, compared to reading times on target sentences that are either neutral or inconsistent would demonstrate that positive and negative stereotypes are equally accessible in memory. Differences in reading times on target sentences containing positive and negative stereotypes (e.g., reading times are either faster or slower) may indicate that stereotype accessibility differs as a function of valence.

Recommended Citation

Scheierl, Amber. "Assessing Activation in Memory for Positive and Negative Stereotypes." Undergraduate Research Symposium, Mankato, MN, April 5, 2010.
http://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/urs/2010/oral-session-02/1