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Encoding Flexibility Revisited: Evidence for Enhanced Encoding of Stereotype-Inconsistent Information Under Cognitive Load


This experiment tested two key components of the Encoding Flexibility Model of stereotyping. Results demonstrated that a cognitive load increased the attention paid to stereotype-inconsistent information, and decreased the attention paid to stereotype-consistent information. Cognitive load also enhanced the perceptual encoding of inconsistent information while diminishing the perceptual encoding of consistent information. Implications of these results for the role of efficiency and the interaction of motivation and ability in social cognition are discussed.

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