Priming of social stereotypes and performance in a mental test

Marek Franěk


Priming describes a mechanism by which a processing of a certain information or stimulus influences a consequent behavior. The present study examined priming, which activates social stereotypes. It was found that priming, which activated a stereotype of a professor, could lead to improvement in a knowledge task (Dijksterhuis, van Knippenberg, 1998). We conducted an experiment in a real situation. Undergraduate students (N=131) were asked to complete a mid-term test. Prior to knowledge testing they were primed with stereotypes of a university teacher or a charwoman. The results revealed that students, who were primed with the stereotype of the university teacher performed slightly better than students, who were primed with the stereotype of charwoman. However, significant differences were found only among males majoring in technical and economical subjects. The results are discussed in terms of an effect of stereotype activation on an intellectual performance.

(Fulltext in Czech)


priming, social stereotypes


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