Research on priming suggests that incidentally activated traits (e.g., dependence) only influence judgments about applicable targets (e.g., female). In previous studies that examined this issue, however, the activation of a trait was confounded with the activation of a specific gender category. It is unclear whether social applicability effects were from (a) the activation of a socially applicable trait; (b) the activation of a socially applicable gender category; or (c) the joint activation of these last two factors. We report two studies that unconfound these prime types. In Experiment 1, we obtained a priming effect for socially applicable traits only. This influence, however, turned out to be contrastive, which we assumed occurred because participants had corrected for mental contamination by these traits. Experiment 2 tested this idea by manipulating participants' attentional resources, in addition to the prime types. As predicted, the activation of socially applicable traits resulted in.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology