Implicit social cognition: Attitudes, self-esteem, and stereotypes

Anthony G. Greenwald, Mahzarin R. Banaji
1995 Psychological review  
Social behavior is ordinarily treated as being under conscious (if not always thoughtful) control. However, considerable evidence now supports the view that social behavior often operates in an implicit or unconscious fashion. The identifying feature of implicit cognition is that past experience influences judgment in a fashion not introspectively known by the actor. The present conclusionthat attitudes, self-esteem, and stereotypes have important implicit modes of operation-extends both the
more » ... extends both the construct validity and predictive usefulness of these major theoretical constructs of social psychology. Methodologically, this review calls for increased use of indirect measures-which are imperative in studies of implicit cognition. The theorized ordinariness of implicit stereotyping is consistent with recent findings of discrimination by people who explicitly disavow prejudice. The finding that implicit cognitive effects are often reduced by focusing judges' attention on their judgment task provides a basis for evaluating applications (such as affirmative action) aimed at reducing such unintended discrimination. loanne Wood, and two anonymous reviewers for comments on a draft of this article, and we thank Mitzi lohnson both for comments and for permission to use the data presented in Figure I . This article is dedicated to the memory of Tom Ostrom, a dear colleague who continues to have a profound influence on both of the authors. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Anthony G. Greenwald, Department of Psychology, NI-25, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195. Electronic mail may be sent to agg@u.washington.edu. 4 I The terms implicit-explicit capture a set of overlapping distinctions that are sometimes labeled as unaware-aware. unconscious-conscious. intuitive-analytic. direct-indirect. procedural-declarative. and automatic-controlled. These dichotomies vary in the amount and nature of implied theoretical interpretation. This article uses the implicit-explicit pair because of that dichotomy's prominence in recent memory research, coupled with the present intention to connect research on attitudes, self-esteem, and stereotypes to memory research.
doi:10.1037//0033-295x.102.1.4 fatcat:rq2dajldefdwtaahhqeytnhceu