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On the Encoding of Stereotype-Relevant Information Under Cognitive Load


This research compared free recall and recognition memory for stereotype-consistent and stereotype-inconsistent information as a function of attentional capacity during encoding. Whereas recall was better for consistent information under conditions of limited capacity, recognition accuracy favored inconsistent information in the same conditions. Contrary to previous theorizations, these data demonstrate that stereotype-inconsistent information is encoded more thoroughly and represented more accurately in memory than stereotype-consistent information when resources are depleted. The recall advantage for consistent information appears to be due to retrieval advantages rather than more thorough encoding or representation. Implications of these findings for models of stereotype efficiency are discussed.

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