Dispositional

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By Username29
Words 13543
Pages 55
Copyright 1998 by the American Psychological Association, Inc.
0022-3514V98/S3.00

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
IW8, Vol. 74, No. 4, 865-877

The Relation Between Perception and Behavior, or How to Win a Game of Trivial Pursuit
Ap Dijksterhuis and Ad van Knippenberg
University of Nijmegen
The authors tested and confirmed the hypothesis that priming a stereotype or trait leads to complex overt behavior in line with this activated stereotype or trait. Specifically, 4 experiments established that priming the stereotype of professors or the trait intelligent enhanced participants' performance on a scale measuring general knowledge. Also, priming the stereotype of soccer hooligans or the trait stupid reduced participants' performance on a general knowledge scale. Results of the experiments revealed (a) that prolonged priming leads to more pronounced behavioral effects and (b) that there is no sign of decay of the effects for at least 15 min. The authors explain their results by claiming that perception has a direct and pervasive impact on overt behavior (cf. J. A. Bargh, M.
Chen, & L. Burrows, 1996). Implications for human social behavior are discussed.

behavior in line with the activated constructs (see also Carver,
Ganellen, Froming, & Chambers, 1983; Neuberg, 1988). For example, priming participants with the stereotype of the elderly made participants walk more slowly than participants who were not primed (Bargh, Chen, & Burrows, 1996, Experiment 2).
In our view, the notion that behavior is under direct perceptual control is of central importance for the understanding of human behavior. After all, upon meeting someone, one usually makes several categorizations instantly. One infers personality traits from the behavior of others spontaneously (Winter & Uleman,
1984). One activates stereotypes automatically (Devine, 1989).…...

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