New article released in PLoS ONE

posted May 7, 2015, 4:49 AM by William Cox   [ updated Jul 24, 2015, 9:25 AM ]
Stereotypes Possess Heterogeneous Directionality: A Theoretical and Empirical Exploration of Stereotype Structure and Content 
    Cox & Devine (2015)

We advance a theory-driven approach to stereotype structure, informed by connectionist theories of cognition. Whereas traditional models define or tacitly assume that stereotypes possess inherently Group → Attribute activation directionality (e.g., Black activates criminal), our model predicts heterogeneous stereotype directionality. Alongside the classically studied Group → Attribute stereotypes, some stereotypes should be bidirectional (i.e., Group ⇄ Attribute) and others should have Attribute → Group unidirectionality (e.g., fashionableactivates gay). We tested this prediction in several large-scale studies with human participants (NCombined = 4,817), assessing stereotypic inferences among various groups and attributes. Supporting predictions, we found heterogeneous directionality both among the stereotype links related to a given social group and also between the links of different social groups. These efforts yield rich datasets that map the networks of stereotype links related to several social groups. We make these datasets publicly available, enabling other researchers to explore a number of questions related to stereotypes and stereotyping. Stereotype directionality is an understudied feature of stereotypes and stereotyping with widespread implications for the development, measurement, maintenance, expression, and change of stereotypes, stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination.
  • Full text freely available here at PLoS ONE, and here as a PDF.
  • Data and experimental materials available here.
  • Interactive Stereotype Directionality Map available here.
Below, see a visualization of some of the data!