Publication details for Professor Richard CrispGoclowska, Malgorzata A., Crisp, Richard J. & Labuschagne, Kirsty (2013). Can counter-stereotypes boost flexible thinking? Group Processes & Intergroup Relations 16(2): 217-231.
- Publication type: Journal Article
- ISSN/ISBN: 1368-4302, 1461-7188
- DOI: 10.1177/1368430212445076
- Further publication details on publisher web site
Author(s) from Durham
To reduce prejudice psychologists design interventions requiring people to think of counter-stereotypes (i.e., people who defy stereotypic expectations—a strong woman, a Black President). Grounded in the idea that stereotypes constrain the ability to think flexibly, we propose that thinking of counter-stereotypes can have benefits that extend beyond the goal of prejudice reduction—in particular to tasks measuring cognitive flexibility and creative performance. Findings supported this conjecture. In Experiment 1 priming a gender counter-stereotype enhanced cognitive flexibility. This effect could not be attributed to changes in mood. In Experiment 2, using a gender-independent manipulation, priming various social counter-stereotypes brought a boost to creative performance. We discuss implications of these extended benefits of counter-stereotypic thinking for developing future prejudice-reduction interventions.