In line with Susan Fiske and Steven Neuberg's continuum model of impression formation, it was found that when a social category was perceived as homogeneous on a stereotypic trait, a target's behavioral discrepancy from that stereotype elicited attention to and elaboration of individuating information. Individuating information consisted of the target person's attitude toward a stereotype-unrelated issue. Perceived variability was manipulated. Impressions of the stimulus person were related to participants' own attitude toward the issue, suggesting a similarity- attraction effect. In the atypical-behavior/low-variability condition, this relationship was mediated by attitude-related thoughts. This suggests a cognitive-response-mediated similarity - attraction effect leading to relatively individuated impressions. All results were consistent across two different stimulus groups that were associated with complementary stereotypes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology