Personalized versus generalized benefits of stereotype disconfirmation: Trade-offs in the evaluation of atypical exemplars and their social groups

Reported 2 studies investigating the impact of how a stereotype-inconsistent exemplar is categorized. In both studies, participants were presented with a description about a specific target and worked on different categorization tasks. 160 college students participated in Exp 1. 94 students participated in Exp 2. Categorization tasks eliciting an inclusion of the target into the group category resulted in less stereotypic judgments about the group and in more stereotypic judgments about the target compared to categorization tasks eliciting exclusion of the target from the category. The results suggest that under exclusion conditions, a stereotype-inconsistent exemplar can increase stereotypic judgments about the group (Exp 1). Exp 2 shows that these categorization effects are attenuated if participants' processing motivation is increased at the encoding stage. The importance of a range of psychological variables that can influence the categorization, and thus the impact, of atypical exemplars is discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved)