The trouble of thinking: Activation and application of stereotypic beliefs

Daniel T. Gilbert, J. Gregory Hixon
1991 Journal of Personality and Social Psychology  
Two studies investigated the effects of cognitive busyness on the activation and application of stereotypes. In Experiment 1, not-busy subjects who were exposed to an Asian target showed evidence of stereotype activation, but busy subjects (who rehearsed an 8-digit number during their exposure) did not. In Experiment 2, cognitive busyness once again inhibited the activation of stereotypes about Asians. However, when stereotype activation was allowed to occur, busy subjects (who performed a
more » ... ho performed a visual search task during their exposure) were more likely to apply these activated stereotypes than were not-busy subjects. Together, these findings suggest that cognitive busyness may decrease the likelihood that a particular stereotype will be activated but increase the likelihood that an activated stereotype will be applied.
doi:10.1037/0022-3514.60.4.509 fatcat:vmht4f3ez5bybgx6bzywpq7rj4