Four experiments demonstrated that perceptual fluency can facilitate categorization of others as ingroup members. In Experiment 1 (replications A, B, and C), White participants were first exposed to a group of White target individuals and later judged whether fluent (repeated) and disfluent (novel) targets were members of a particular ingroup or not. In each replication, fluent targets were categorized as ingroup members more readily than were disfluent ones. Experiment 2 replicated and extended this finding by showing that both White (racial ingroup) and Black (racial outgroup) targets were more frequently perceived as school ingroup members when fluent (repeated). In Experiments 3 and 4, fluency was manipulated via visual clarity and, again, fluency engendered more ingroup categorizations than did disfluency, for both racial ingroup and outgroup targets. Moreover, findings from Experiment 4 suggested that liking fully mediated the fluency-ingroup categorization relation. Implications of these findings for the literatures on fluency and intergroup relations are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Cultural Studies
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Sociology and Political Science