Shaping stereotypical behaviour through the discussion of social stereotypes

Smith, Laura G. E. and Postmes, Tom (2011) Shaping stereotypical behaviour through the discussion of social stereotypes. British Journal of Social Psychology, 50 1: 74-98. doi:10.1348/014466610X500340

Author Smith, Laura G. E.
Postmes, Tom
Title Shaping stereotypical behaviour through the discussion of social stereotypes
Journal name British Journal of Social Psychology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0144-6665
Publication date 2011-03
Year available 2010
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1348/014466610X500340
Volume 50
Issue 1
Start page 74
End page 98
Total pages 25
Place of publication Letchworth, United Kingdom
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Subject C1
Abstract In two studies, we demonstrate that small group discussions change the extent to which an activated stereotype affects performance in a relevant domain. In Study 1, female participants were asked why men are (or are not) better than them at maths. They generated their answers individually or through group discussion, and their subsequent maths performance was highest when they collectively challenged the stereotype and lowest when they collectively affirmed the stereotype. When participants affirmed the stereotype through discussion, they used more theories which supported the validity of the stereotype, compared to the individual thought condition; and consensus mediated the effect of group discussion on performance (relative to individual rumination). In Study 2, male and female participants affirmed or challenged the stereotype in same-gender discussion groups. After affirming the stereotype, women's performance decreased relative to their baseline scores and men's performance was ‘lifted’. In contrast, when they challenged the stereotype, there was no difference between the performance of men and women on the maths test. This pattern of effects was mediated by confidence in mathematical ability. The findings support the idea that topical small group discussions can, in the short term, differentially alter the impact that stereotypes have on performance. ©2010 The British Psychological Society
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Available online 8 May 2010.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Faculty of Business, Economics and Law -- Publications
Official 2011 Collection
UQ Business School Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 12 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 12 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 19 Jul 2010, 13:31:24 EST by Karen Morgan on behalf of UQ Business School