Social Justice Research

, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 140–160 | Cite as

Implicit and Explicit Stereotyping of Adolescents

  • Elisheva F. Gross
  • Curtis D. Hardin


Although adolescents are commonly assumed to be rebellious, risky and moody, two experiments demonstrate for the first time that these beliefs operate both explicitly and implicitly as stereotypes. In Experiment 1, participants (a) explicitly endorsed adolescent stereotypes and (b) implicitly associated adolescent stereotyped words more rapidly with the adolescent than the adult social category. Individual differences in the explicit endorsement of adolescent stereotypes predicted explicit perceptions of the rebelliousness of a 17-year-old but not a 71-year-old, although individual differences in implicit stereotyping did not. Identification with adults was associated with greater implicit stereotyping but not explicit stereotyping. In Experiment 2, subliminal exposure to adolescent stereotyped words increased subsequent perceptions of the rebelliousness of a 17-year-old but not a 71-year-old. Although individual differences in implicit adolescent stereotyping did not predict explicit evaluations of adolescents, stereotypes of adolescents nevertheless influenced explicit evaluations unconsciously and unintentionally.


implicit attitudes prejudice stereotyping adolescents intergroup conflict 


  1. Abelson R. P. (1995) Statistics as Principled Argument. Mahwah, NJ, Lawrence ErlbaumGoogle Scholar
  2. Allport G. W. (1954) The Nature of Prejudice. New York, Addison-WesleyGoogle Scholar
  3. Anderson N. H. (1968) Likableness ratings of 555 personality-trait words. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 9:272–279PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Banaji M. R., Hardin C. D. (1996) Automatic stereotyping. Psychol. Sci. 7:136–141CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Banaji M. R., Hardin C. D., Rothman A. J. (1993) Implicit stereotyping in person judgment. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 65:272–281CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Beckett N. E., Park B. (1995) Use of category versus individuating information: Making base rates salient. Pers. Soc. Psychol. Bull. 21:21–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Biernat M., Manis M. (1994) Shifting standards and stereotype-based judgments. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 66:5–20PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Blair I. V. (2001) Implicit stereotypes and prejudice. In B. Moskowitz Gordon (ed.), Cognitive Social Psychology: The Princeton Symposium on the Legacy and Future of Social Cognition. Mahwah, NJ, Lawrence Erlbaum, pp. 359–374Google Scholar
  9. Blair I. V., Banaji M. (1996) Automatic and controlled processes in stereotype priming. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 70:1142–1163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Blair I. V., Ma J. E., Lenton A. P. (2001) Imagining stereotypes away: The moderation of implicit stereotypes through mental imagery. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 81:828–841PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Blanton H., Jaccard J. (2006) Arbitrary metrics in psychology. Am. Psychol. 61:27–41PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bruner J. S. (1973) Beyond the Information Given. New York, NortonGoogle Scholar
  13. Buchanan C. M., Eccles J. S., Flanagan C., Midgley C., Feldlaufer H., Harold R. D. (1990) Parents’ and teachers’ beliefs about adolescents: Effects of sex and experience. J. Youth. Adolesc. 19:363–394CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Buchanan C. M., Holmbeck G. N. (1998) Measuring beliefs about adolescent personality and behavior. J. Youth. Adolesc. 27:607–627CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cohen, J. D, MacWhinney B., Flatt M., and Provost J. (1993). PsyScope: An interactive graphic system for designing and controlling experiments in the psychology laboratory using Macintosh computers. Beh. Res. Methods, Instrum Comput. 25(2): 257–271Google Scholar
  16. Devine P. (1989) Stereotypes and prejudice: Their automatic and controlled components. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 56:680–690CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dovidio J. F., Kawakami K., Gaertner S. L. (2002) Implicit and explicit prejudice and interracial interaction. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 82:62–68PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Fazio R. H., Jackson J. R., Dunton B. C., Williams C. J. (1995) Variability in automatic activation as an unobstrusive measure of racial attitudes: A bona fide pipeline? J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 69:1013–1027PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Fiske S. T. (1998) Stereotyping, prejudice, and discripmination. In D. T. Gilbert, S. T. Fiske (eds.) The Handbook of Social Psychology, 2. New York, NY, McGraw-Hill, pp. 357–411Google Scholar
  20. Graham S., Lowery B. S. (2004) Priming unconscious racial stereotypes about adolescent offenders. Law. Hum. Behav. 28:483–504PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Greenwald A. G., Banaji M. R. (1995) Implicit social cognition: Attitudes, self-esteem, and stereotypes. Psychol. Rev. 102:4–27PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Greenwald A. G., Banaji M. R., Farnham S. A., Nosek B. A., Mellott D. S. (2002) A unified theory of implicit attitudes, stereotypes, self-esteem, and self-concept. Psychol. Rev. 109:3–25PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Greenwald A. G., McGhee D. E., Schwartz J. L. K. (1998) Measuring individual differences in implicit cognition: The Implicit Association Test. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 74:1464–1480PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hall G. S. (1904) Adolescence: Its psychology and its Relation to Physiology, Anthropology, Sociology, Sex, Crime, Religion, and Education. Englewood Cliffs, NJ, PrenticeHallGoogle Scholar
  25. Hardin C. D., Conley T. D. (2001) A relational approach to cognition: Shared experience and relationship affirmation in social cognition. In G. B. Moskowitz (ed.), Future Directions in Social Cognition. Hillsdale, NJ, ErlbaumGoogle Scholar
  26. Hardin, C. D., and Higgins, E. T. (1996). Shared reality: How social verification makes the subjective objective. In Sorrentino R. M. and Higgins E. T. (eds.), Handbook of motivation and cognition: Foundations of social behavior Vol. 3, Guilford, New York, pp. 28–84Google Scholar
  27. Hardin C. D., Rothman A. J. (1997) Rendering accessible information relevant: The applicability of everyday life. In R. S. Wyer (ed.), Advances in Social Cognition. Mahwah, NJ, ErlbaumGoogle Scholar
  28. Heider F. (1958) The Psychology of Interpersonal Relations. New York, John Wiley & SonsGoogle Scholar
  29. Henry P. J., Hardin C. D. (2006) The contact hypothesis revisited: Status bias in the reduction of implicit prejudice in the United States and Lebanon. Psychol. Sci. 17:862–868PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Higgins E. T. (1996) Knowledge activation: Accessibility, applicability, and salience. In E. T. Higgins, A. Kruglanski (eds.) Handbook of Basic Principles. New York, Guilford PressGoogle Scholar
  31. Higgins E. T., Rholes W. S., Jones C. R. (1977) Category accessibility and impression formation. J. Exp. Soc. Psychol. 13:141–154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hofmann W., Gawronski B., Gschwedner T., Le H., Schmitt M. (2005) A meta-analysis on the correlation between the implicit association test and explicit self-report measures. Pers. Soc. Psychol. Bull. 31:1369–1385PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Holmbeck G. N., Hill J. P. (1988) Storm and stress beliefs about adolescence: Prevalence, self-reported antecedents, and effects of an undergraduate course. J. Youth. Adolesc. 17:285–306CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Jussim L. (1991) Social perception and social reality: A reflection-construction model. Psychol. Rev. 98:54–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Klein O., Snyder M. (2003) Stereotypes and behavioral confirmation: From interpersonal to intergroup perspectives. In M. P. Zanna (ed.), Advances in Experimental Social Psychology Vol. 35. San Diego, Academic Press, pp. 153–234CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Lowery B. S., Hardin C. D., Sinclair S. (2001) Social influence effects on automatic racial prejudice. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 81:842–855PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Nelson, T. D. (ed.) (2002). Ageism: Stereotypes and Prejudice against Older Persons, Cambridge, Mass: MIT PressGoogle Scholar
  38. Paikoff R. L., Brooks-Gunn J. (1991) Do parent-child relationships change during puberty?. Psychol. Bull. 110:47–66PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Pelham, B. W., Koole, S., Hardin, C. D., Hetts, J. J., and Seah, E. (2005). Implicit and explicit self-esteem and gender. J. Exp. Soc. Psychol. 41:84–89CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Perdue C. W., Gurtman M. B. (1990) Evidence for the automaticity of ageism. J. Exp. Soc. Psychol. 26:199–216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Rosenthtal, R., Rosnow, R. L. (1985). Contrast Analysis: Focused Comparisons in the Analysis of Variance, Cambridge University PressGoogle Scholar
  42. Rudman L. A. (2004) Social justice in our minds, homes, and society: The nature, causes, and consequences of implicit bias. Soc. Justice Res. 17:129–142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Rudman L. A., Ashmore R. D., Gary M. L. (2001) “Unlearning” automatic biases: The malleability of implicit prejudice and stereotypes. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 81:856–868PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Spalding L. R., Hardin C. D. (1999) Unconscious unease and self-handicapping: Behavioral consequences of individual differences in implicit and explicit self-esteem. Psychol. Sci. 10:535–539CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Steele C. M., Aronson J.(1995) Stereotype threat and the intellectual test performance of African Americans. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 69:797–811PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Stroop J. R. (1935) Studies of interference in serial verbal reactions. J. Exp. Psychol. 18:643–662CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Turner J. C. (1987) Rediscovering the social group: Self-categorization theory. London, BlackwellGoogle Scholar
  48. Wittenbrink B., Judd C. M., Park B. (1997) Evidence for racial prejudice at the implicit level and its relationship with questionnaire measures. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 72:262–274PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Zebrowitz L. A., Montepare J. M. (2000) “Too young, too old”: Stigmatizing adolescents and elders. In T. F. Heatherton, R. E. Kleck (eds.), The Social Psychology of Stigma. New York, The Guilford Press, pp. 334–373Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychology, Brooklyn College & Graduate CenterCity University of New YorkBrooklynUSA

Personalised recommendations