The Roles of the Self in Priming-to-Behavior Effects
Research has shown that the activation of stereotypes and traits can influence subsequent behavior. For example, activation of the African American stereotype can lead both African Americans (Steele & Aronson, 1995) and non-African Americans (Wheeler, Jarvis, & Petty, 2001) to perform poorly on a standardized test. Similarly, activation of the eldery person stereotype can lead both older individuals (Hausdorff, Levy, & Wei, 1999) and college students (Bargh, Chen, & Burrows, 1996) to walk more slowly. Although the effects of stereotype activation on behavior have been robustly demonstrated by many researchers in several domains, the underlying mechanisms for the effects have proven difficult to determine conclusively (Wheeler & Petty, 2001).