Some extended psychological benefits of challenging social stereotypes: decreased dehumanization and a reduced reliance on heuristic thinking

Francesca Prati, Milica Vasiljevic, Richard J. Crisp, Monica Rubini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

One way to promote equality is to encourage people to generate counterstereotypic role models. In two experiments, we demonstrate that such interventions have much broader benefits than previously thoughtreducing a reliance on heuristic thinking and decreasing tendencies to dehumanize outgroups. In Experiment 1, participants who thought about a gender counterstereotype (e.g., a female mechanic) demonstrated a generalized decrease in dehumanization towards a range of unrelated target groups (including asylum seekers and the homeless). In Experiment 2 we replicated these findings using alternative targets and measures of dehumanization. Furthermore, we found the effect was mediated by a reduced reliance on heuristic thinking. The findings suggest educational initiatives that aim to challenge social stereotypes may not only have societal benefits (generalized tolerance), but also tangible benefits for individuals (enhanced cognitive flexibility).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)801-816
Number of pages15
JournalGroup Processes and Intergroup Relations
Volume18
Issue number6
Early online date25 Feb 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015

Keywords

  • categorization
  • counterstereotypes
  • dehumanization
  • heuristics
  • prejudice

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Some extended psychological benefits of challenging social stereotypes: decreased dehumanization and a reduced reliance on heuristic thinking'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this