Stereotype-based priming without stereotype activation: A tale of two priming tasks

Dimitra Tsamadi*, Johanna K. Falben, Linn M. Persson, Marius Golubickis, Siobhan Caughey, Betül Sahin, C. Neil Macrae

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)


An extensive literature has demonstrated stereotype-based priming effects. What this work has only recently considered, however, is the extent to which priming is moderated by the adoption of different sequential-priming tasks and the attendant implications for theoretical treatments of person perception. In addition, the processes through which priming arises (i.e., stimulus and/or response biases) remain largely unspecified. Accordingly, here we explored the emergence and origin of stereotype-based priming using both semantic- and response-priming tasks. Corroborating previous research, a stereotype-based priming effect only emerged when a response-priming (vs. semantic-priming) task was used. A further hierarchical drift diffusion model analysis revealed that this effect was underpinned by differences in the evidential requirements of response generation (i.e., a response bias), such that less evidence was needed when generating stereotype-consistent compared to stereotype-inconsistent responses. Crucially, information uptake (i.e., stimulus bias, efficiency of target processing) was faster for stereotype-inconsistent than stereotype-consistent targets. This reveals that stereotype-based priming originated in a response bias rather than the automatic activation of stereotypes. The theoretical implications of these findings are considered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1939-1948
Number of pages10
JournalQuarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Issue number11
Early online date27 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • stereotype activation
  • priming
  • response bias
  • automaticity
  • person perception
  • Stereotype activation
  • BIAS


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