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Reducing implicit prejudice: Matching approach/avoidance strategies to contextual valence and regulatory focus

Authors
Journal
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
0022-1031
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
47
Issue
5
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2011.03.013
Keywords
  • Prejudice Reduction
  • Regulatory Fit
  • Implicit Prejudice

Abstract

Abstract Two general strategies for reducing prejudice are to approach equality and to avoid prejudice. The current research investigated the importance of matching two factors, contextual valence and regulatory focus, on the efficacy of these two strategies in reducing implicit prejudice. The findings demonstrate that although an approach strategy is more effective in decreasing prejudice on the Implicit Association Test in a positive rather than a negative context, an avoidance strategy is more effective in decreasing prejudice in a negative rather than a positive context ( Study 1). In addition, the results show that although an approach strategy is more effective in decreasing prejudice when a promotion rather than a prevention focus is primed, an avoidance strategy is more effective in reducing prejudice when a prevention rather than a promotion focus is primed ( Study 2). The implications of these findings for current interventions aimed at decreasing implicit prejudice are discussed.

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