Comparing Person and People Perception: Multiple Group Members Do Not Increase Stereotype Priming

Linn Maria Persson* (Corresponding Author), Marius Golubickis, Dagmara Dublas, Neža Mastnak, Johanna Katariina Falben, Dimitra Tsamadi, Siobhan Caughey, Saga Svensson, C. Neil Macrae

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)


A characteristic feature of daily life is encountering people in groups. Surprisingly, however, at least during the initial stages of processing, research has focused almost exclusively on the construal of single individuals. As such, it remains unclear whether person and people (i.e., group) perception yield comparable or divergent outcomes. Addressing this issue, here we explored a core socialcognitive topic — stereotype activation — by presenting both single and multiple facial primes in a sequential-priming task. In addition, the processes underlying task performance were probed using a drift diffusion model analysis. Based on prior work, it was hypothesized that multiple (vs. single) primes would increase stereotype-based responding. Across two experiments, a consistent pattern of results emerged. First, stereotype priming was insensitive to the number of primes that were presented and occurred only at a short prime-target stimulus onset asynchrony (i.e., 250 ms). Second, priming was underpinned by a bias toward congruent (vs. incongruent) prime-target responses. Collectively these findings advance understanding of the emergence and origin of stereotype priming during person and people perception.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1418-1431
Number of pages14
JournalQuarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Issue number8
Early online date26 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

open access via sage agreement


  • stereotype activation
  • priming
  • person perception
  • people perception
  • ensemble coding
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • General Psychology
  • General Medicine
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


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