The negative consequences of a positive stereotype: The influence of counter-stereotypic behaviors on attitudes

[Speaker] Wu, Yang:1
[Co-author] Sun, Shan:1, Zuo, Bin:1, Yan, Lei:1, Wen, Fangfang:1
1:Central China Normal University (China (People's Republic of China))

A positive stereotype, though ostensibly innocuous, also has pernicious consequences. Activation of a positive stereotype towards a group may raise an individual's expectation about the group member, and a negative thus counter-stereotypic behavior of a group member may evoke a more negative attitude. The current study examined this hypothesis based on the group of surgeons. A pilot study showed that the valence of surgeon stereotype is generally positive. We then recruited 42 university students and activated or suppressed their stereotype of surgeons. After this, participants read a text containing negative counter-stereotypic information of a surgeon and rated their attitudes. The results showed that participants with the positive stereotype activated expressed a more negative attitude than those with stereotype suppressed, and they showed greater reluctance to seek medical help from this surgeon in the future. However, participants did not differ on attitudes towards the group of medical workers as a whole.
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