Prior research has shown that within racial category, group members with more Afrocentric facial features are presumed to have more stereotypic traits than those with less Afrocentric features. The present experiment investigated whether this form of feature-based stereotyping occurs when more diagnostic information is available. The participants were provided with photographs and information about the aggressive (or non-aggressive) behaviour of 64 African Americans in four different situations, and asked to predict the likelihood of aggression in a fifth situation. As expected, each instance of aggression increased estimates that a target would behave aggressively in the unknown situation. With degree of displayed aggression controlled, however, targets with more Afrocentric features were judged as significantly more likely to behave aggressively than targets with less Afrocentric features. Thus, stereotyping based on Afrocentric features occurs even when other obviously-relevant information is available. This suggests that it may be difficult to detect and avoid.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology