In a set of two studies, we tested whether gender-stereotypical associations are automatically activated by Spanish women in a categorization task, and how this process is conditioned by the context in which the target is presented (kitchen vs. office). We hypothesized that gender stereotypes would be activated implicitly when the target (men vs. women) appeared in an office context (associated with male dominant roles), but not when they appeared in a kitchen context (traditionally associated with female roles). The studies were conducted with two samples (N = 44; N = 47) of female undergraduate students from the University of Granada (Spain). In both studies, a priming effect was found, indicating that a traditional, role-congruent stereotype pattern (men-competence, women-warmth) emerged when primes appeared in an office context, but not in a kitchen context. Further, negative competence traits were evaluated faster when a male prime was presented in the context of a kitchen (role-incongruent). The purpose of Study 2 was to clarify the implicit nature of this contextual contingency effect by manipulating the controllability of the priming effect (i.e., Stimulus Onset Asynchrony duration-SOA, and restricted response time). The results of Study 1 were replicated in only the short SOA condition, which implies faster and presumably less controlled processing of the stimuli. Theoretical implications for stereotyping and gender role research are discussed.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 8, 2013
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