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Disentangling Stereotype Activation and Stereotype Application in the Stereotype Misperception Task

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When forming impressions about other people, stereotypes about the individual's social group often influence the resulting impression. At least 2 distinguishable processes underlie stereotypic impression formation: stereotype activation and stereotype application. Most previous research has used implicit measures to assess stereotype activation and explicit measures to assess stereotype application, which has several disadvantages. The authors propose a measure of stereotypic impression formation, the stereotype misperception task (SMT), together with a multinomial model that quantitatively disentangles the contributions of stereotype activation and application to responses in the SMT. The validity of the SMT and of the multinomial model was confirmed in 5 studies. The authors hope to advance research on stereotyping by providing a measurement tool that separates multiple processes underlying impression formation.

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