(Why) Do I Think What You Think? Epistemic Social Tuning and Implicit Prejudice

Janetta Lun, Stacey Sinclair, Erin R. Whitchurch, Catherine Glenn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


This research examines whether people who experience epistemic motivation (i.e., a desire to acquire knowledge) came to have implicit attitudes consistent with the apparent beliefs of another person. People had lower implicit prejudice when they experienced epistemic motivation and interacted with a person who ostensibly held egalitarian beliefs (Experiments 1 and 2). Implicit prejudice was not affected when people did not experience epistemic motivation. Further evidence shows that this tuning of implicit attitudes occurs when beliefs are endorsed by another person, but not when they are brought to mind via means that do not imply that person's endorsement (Experiment 3). Results suggest that implicit attitudes of epistemically motivated people tune to the apparent beliefs of others to achieve shared reality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)957-972
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


  • epistemic motivation
  • implicit prejudice
  • shared reality
  • social tuning
  • uncertainty


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