Sudden shifts in social identity swiftly shape implicit evaluation

Yi Jenny Xiao, Jay Van Bavel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In this research, we examine how sudden shifts in social identity can swiftly shape implicit evaluations. According to dual system models of attitudes, implicit attitude change is often slow and insensitive to explicit cues or goals. However, the social identity approach suggests that the intergroup context can shape nearly every aspect of social cognition from explicit preferences to implicit evaluations. In three experiments, we test whether explicit cues about social identity and the intergroup context can swiftly shape implicit evaluations. We find that people quickly develop an implicit preference favoring their in-group relative to the out-group—even when the group assignments are arbitrary. Importantly, this pattern of implicit intergroup bias quickly shifts following subtle changes in the intergroup context. When we frame the two groups as cooperative (vs. competitive), implicit intergroup bias is eliminated. Finally, being switched from one minimal group to the other reverses implicit intergroup bias, leading people to favor their new in-group (and former out-group). Individual differences in the degree to which people readily switch their implicit intergroup preference are correlated with their need to belong. In sum, these studies provide evidence that social identity cues and goals rapidly tune implicit evaluation. This research not only speaks to the influence of social identity on implicit cognition, but also has implications for models of attitude development and change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-69
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Volume83
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019

Fingerprint

Social Identification
Cues
evaluation
Group
Cognition
trend
dual system
social cognition
attitude change
outgroup
system model
Research
Individuality
cognition
experiment
evidence

Keywords

  • Attitudes
  • Competition
  • Evaluation
  • Groups
  • Social identity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

Sudden shifts in social identity swiftly shape implicit evaluation. / Xiao, Yi Jenny; Van Bavel, Jay.

In: Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Vol. 83, 01.07.2019, p. 55-69.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{d7cf82fe00ad43c58134b04877bb6583,
title = "Sudden shifts in social identity swiftly shape implicit evaluation",
abstract = "In this research, we examine how sudden shifts in social identity can swiftly shape implicit evaluations. According to dual system models of attitudes, implicit attitude change is often slow and insensitive to explicit cues or goals. However, the social identity approach suggests that the intergroup context can shape nearly every aspect of social cognition from explicit preferences to implicit evaluations. In three experiments, we test whether explicit cues about social identity and the intergroup context can swiftly shape implicit evaluations. We find that people quickly develop an implicit preference favoring their in-group relative to the out-group—even when the group assignments are arbitrary. Importantly, this pattern of implicit intergroup bias quickly shifts following subtle changes in the intergroup context. When we frame the two groups as cooperative (vs. competitive), implicit intergroup bias is eliminated. Finally, being switched from one minimal group to the other reverses implicit intergroup bias, leading people to favor their new in-group (and former out-group). Individual differences in the degree to which people readily switch their implicit intergroup preference are correlated with their need to belong. In sum, these studies provide evidence that social identity cues and goals rapidly tune implicit evaluation. This research not only speaks to the influence of social identity on implicit cognition, but also has implications for models of attitude development and change.",
keywords = "Attitudes, Competition, Evaluation, Groups, Social identity",
author = "Xiao, {Yi Jenny} and {Van Bavel}, Jay",
year = "2019",
month = "7",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.jesp.2019.03.005",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "83",
pages = "55--69",
journal = "Journal of Experimental Social Psychology",
issn = "0022-1031",
publisher = "Academic Press Inc.",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Sudden shifts in social identity swiftly shape implicit evaluation

AU - Xiao, Yi Jenny

AU - Van Bavel, Jay

PY - 2019/7/1

Y1 - 2019/7/1

N2 - In this research, we examine how sudden shifts in social identity can swiftly shape implicit evaluations. According to dual system models of attitudes, implicit attitude change is often slow and insensitive to explicit cues or goals. However, the social identity approach suggests that the intergroup context can shape nearly every aspect of social cognition from explicit preferences to implicit evaluations. In three experiments, we test whether explicit cues about social identity and the intergroup context can swiftly shape implicit evaluations. We find that people quickly develop an implicit preference favoring their in-group relative to the out-group—even when the group assignments are arbitrary. Importantly, this pattern of implicit intergroup bias quickly shifts following subtle changes in the intergroup context. When we frame the two groups as cooperative (vs. competitive), implicit intergroup bias is eliminated. Finally, being switched from one minimal group to the other reverses implicit intergroup bias, leading people to favor their new in-group (and former out-group). Individual differences in the degree to which people readily switch their implicit intergroup preference are correlated with their need to belong. In sum, these studies provide evidence that social identity cues and goals rapidly tune implicit evaluation. This research not only speaks to the influence of social identity on implicit cognition, but also has implications for models of attitude development and change.

AB - In this research, we examine how sudden shifts in social identity can swiftly shape implicit evaluations. According to dual system models of attitudes, implicit attitude change is often slow and insensitive to explicit cues or goals. However, the social identity approach suggests that the intergroup context can shape nearly every aspect of social cognition from explicit preferences to implicit evaluations. In three experiments, we test whether explicit cues about social identity and the intergroup context can swiftly shape implicit evaluations. We find that people quickly develop an implicit preference favoring their in-group relative to the out-group—even when the group assignments are arbitrary. Importantly, this pattern of implicit intergroup bias quickly shifts following subtle changes in the intergroup context. When we frame the two groups as cooperative (vs. competitive), implicit intergroup bias is eliminated. Finally, being switched from one minimal group to the other reverses implicit intergroup bias, leading people to favor their new in-group (and former out-group). Individual differences in the degree to which people readily switch their implicit intergroup preference are correlated with their need to belong. In sum, these studies provide evidence that social identity cues and goals rapidly tune implicit evaluation. This research not only speaks to the influence of social identity on implicit cognition, but also has implications for models of attitude development and change.

KW - Attitudes

KW - Competition

KW - Evaluation

KW - Groups

KW - Social identity

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85063285130&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85063285130&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.jesp.2019.03.005

DO - 10.1016/j.jesp.2019.03.005

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85063285130

VL - 83

SP - 55

EP - 69

JO - Journal of Experimental Social Psychology

JF - Journal of Experimental Social Psychology

SN - 0022-1031

ER -