Individual Differences in the Regulation of Intergroup Bias: The Role of Conflict Monitoring and Neural Signals for Control

David M. Amodio, Patricia G. Devine, Eddie Harmon-Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Low-prejudice people vary considerably in their ability to regulate intergroup responses. The authors hypothesized that this variability arises from a neural mechanism for monitoring conflict between automatic race-biased tendencies and egalitarian intentions. In Study 1, they found that low-prejudice participants whose nonprejudiced responses are motivated by internal (but not external) factors exhibited better control on a stereotype-inhibition task than did participants motivated by a combination of internal and external factors. This difference was associated with greater conflict-monitoring activity, measured by event-related potentials, when responses required stereotype inhibition. Study 2 demonstrated that group differences were specific to response control in the domain of prejudice. Results indicate that conflict monitoring, a preconscious component of response control, accounts for variability in intergroup bias among low-prejudice participants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-74
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Volume94
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008

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Keywords

  • ERN
  • ERP
  • conflict monitoring
  • control
  • prejudice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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