Forming implicit and explicit attitudes toward individuals: social group association cues.J Pers Soc Psychol. 2008 May; 94(5):792-807.JP
The authors explored how social group cues (e.g., obesity, physical attractiveness) strongly associated with valence affect the formation of attitudes toward individuals. Although explicit attitude formation has been examined in much past research (e.g., S. T. Fiske & S. L. Neuberg, 1990), in the current work, the authors considered how implicit as well as explicit attitudes toward individuals are influenced by these cues. On the basis of a systems of evaluation perspective (e.g., R. J. Rydell & A. R. McConnell, 2006; R. J. Rydell, A. R. McConnell, D. M. Mackie, & L. M. Strain, 2006), the authors anticipated and found that social group cues had a strong impact on implicit attitude formation in all cases and on explicit attitude formation when behavioral information about the target was ambiguous. These findings obtained for cues related to obesity (Experiments 1 and 4) and physical attractiveness (Experiment 2). In Experiment 3, parallel findings were observed for race, and participants holding greater implicit racial prejudice against African Americans formed more negative implicit attitudes toward a novel African American target person than did participants with less implicit racial prejudice. Implications for research on attitudes, impression formation, and stigma are discussed.