Which Cues Matter? The Implications of Stereotype Appeals and Explicit Predispositions for Group-Centric Issue Opinion
42 Pages Posted: 24 Aug 2010 Last revised: 5 Nov 2010
Date Written: August 18, 2010
While evidence of explicit prejudice may have declined in the general population as norms against overt bias have taken hold, knowledge of negative stereotypes has been shown to persist in the minds of most citizens. Previous research has shown that political elites can exploit these latent considerations, influencing opinion and shaping candidate evaluations. Many citizens are alarmingly sensitive to subtle stereotypical appeals in campaign rhetoric. This project seeks to build upon this theoretical framework by expanding the consideration of the subtle application of stereotypes to the formation of issue opinions more generally, while also considering the interactive effects of cues and prior predispositions. To do so I use a series of experiments, in which subjects are exposed to implicit verbal and visual cues. The results suggest that contextually neutral visual primes also have powerful effects on opinion, but that these effects may be moderated by explicitly endorsed stereotypes.
Keywords: Stereotypes, priming, group-centrism
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation