Findings from five studies demonstrate that being an incidental token member in a transient group (e.g., a woman in a group of mostly men in a store line) lowers individuals’ private evaluations of products that typify the negative stereotypes of the tokenized identity. Incidental tokenism activates negative stereotypes associated with the tokenized identity, which subsequently leads to a desire to disassociate specifically from identity-linked products that typify those stereotypes as opposed to all identity-linked products in general. Consistent with this theorizing, similar results emerge when negative stereotypes are activated directly, and the effect is attenuated when tokenized individuals are self-affirmed. These results demonstrate the largely unexamined consequences of being a token group member on private evaluations (vs. public behavior) in subjective, preference-based (vs. objective, performance-based) domains.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology