Long-term Effects of Stereotyping
By Rick Nauert
“Past studies have shown that people perform poorly in situations where they feel they are being stereotyped,” says University of Toronto Scarborough’s Michael Inzlicht, who led the research.
His research is published in this month’s edition of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
“What we wanted to do was look at what happens afterwards. Are there lingering effects of prejudice? Does being stereotyped have an impact beyond the moment when stereotyping happens?”
In order to determine whether negative stereotyping in a particular situation had lasting effects, Inzlicht’s team performed a series of tests.
First, they placed participants in situations where they had to perform a task in the face of negative stereotyping. After the participants were removed from the prejudicial situation, researchers measured their ability to control their aggression, eat appropriate amounts, make rational decisions, and stay focused.
Their results show that prejudice and stereotyping have lingering adverse impacts.
“Even after a person leaves a situation where they faced negative stereotypes, the effects of coping with that situation remain,” says Inzlicht.
“People are more likely to be aggressive after they’ve faced prejudice in a given situation. They are more likely to exhibit a lack of self control. They have trouble making good, rational decisions. And they are more likely to over-indulge on unhealthy foods.”