Self-stereotyping as a route to system justification
Endorsing complementary stereotypes about others (i.e., stereotypes consisting of a balance of positive and negative characteristics) can function to satisfy the need to perceive one's social system as fair and balanced. To what extent might this also apply to self-perception, or self-stereotyping? The present research aimed to investigate the links between perceiving oneself in terms of a complementary stereotype, and the system justification motivation. In one study, we experimentally activated this motivation by threatening men's and women's perceptions of the fairness of gender relations and examined the impact on complementary self-stereotyping. In a second study, we manipulated men's and women's self-perceptions either in the direction of or away from their gender's complementary stereotype, and examined the impact of these self-perceptions on their beliefs about system fairness. Results support the notion that self-stereotyping is a viable strategy for satisfying the system justification goal. Implications for theories of the self-concept and the maintenance of intergroup inequalities are discussed © 2011 Guilford Publications, Inc.
Laurin, K; Kay, AC; Shepherd, S
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