Can counter-stereotypes boost flexible thinking?

Małgorzata A. Gocłowska, Richard J. Crisp, Kirsty Labuschagne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

To reduce prejudice psychologists design interventions requiring people to think of counter-stereotypes (i.e., people who defy stereotypic expectations-a strong woman, a Black President). Grounded in the idea that stereotypes constrain the ability to think flexibly, we propose that thinking of counter-stereotypes can have benefits that extend beyond the goal of prejudice reduction-in particular to tasks measuring cognitive flexibility and creative performance. Findings supported this conjecture. In Experiment 1 priming a gender counter-stereotype enhanced cognitive flexibility. This effect could not be attributed to changes in mood. In Experiment 2, using a gender-independent manipulation, priming various social counter-stereotypes brought a boost to creative performance. We discuss implications of these extended benefits of counter-stereotypic thinking for developing future prejudice-reduction interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-231
Number of pages15
JournalGroup Processes and Intergroup Relations
Volume16
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013

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stereotype
prejudice
Aptitude
Experiments
flexibility
Psychology
experiment
gender
psychologist
mood
performance
manipulation
president
Thinking
Stereotypes
ability
Prejudice
Priming
Cognitive Flexibility
Experiment

Keywords

  • creativity
  • flexibility
  • mindsets
  • prejudice
  • stereotypes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

Can counter-stereotypes boost flexible thinking? / Gocłowska, Małgorzata A.; Crisp, Richard J.; Labuschagne, Kirsty.

In: Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, Vol. 16, No. 2, 03.2013, p. 217-231.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Gocłowska, Małgorzata A. ; Crisp, Richard J. ; Labuschagne, Kirsty. / Can counter-stereotypes boost flexible thinking?. In: Group Processes and Intergroup Relations. 2013 ; Vol. 16, No. 2. pp. 217-231.
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