Graded structure and the speed of category verification: On the moderating effects of anticipatory control for social vs. non-social categories

Kristina R. Olson, Alan J. Lambert, Jeffrey M. Zacks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Speeded classification tasks have widely been used as leverage to discern whether exemplars are considered to be typical or atypical members of categories. However, little is known about the possibly different nature of the mechanisms that underlie such reactions for "social" vs. "non-social" categories. We presented participants with typical and atypical exemplars to classify and manipulated the opportunity that participants had to control their responses by varying whether stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) was short (350ms) or long (2000ms). For non-social categories (e.g., BIRD), participants were faster to classify typical instances than atypical instances, regardless of SOA. In contrast, we predicted and found that manipulating SOA strongly moderated the pattern of response times when motives for control were greater, as was the case when participants were presented with occupations relevant to racial stereotypes (e.g., DOCTORS and JANITORS). The implications of these findings, and their relation to effects observed with gender-based occupational stereotypes, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-246
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Volume40
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2004
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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