"Unlearning" automatic biases: the malleability of implicit prejudice and stereotypes

J Pers Soc Psychol. 2001 Nov;81(5):856-68. doi: 10.1037//0022-3514.81.5.856.


The present research suggests that automatic and controlled intergroup biases can be modified through diversity education. In 2 experiments, students enrolled in a prejudice and conflict seminar showed significantly reduced implicit and explicit anti-Black biases, compared with control students. The authors explored correlates of prejudice and stereotype reduction. In each experiment, seminar students' implicit and explicit change scores positively covaried with factors suggestive of affective and cognitive processes, respectively. The findings show the malleability of implicit prejudice and stereotypes and suggest that these may effectively be changed through affective processes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Automatism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prejudice*
  • Random Allocation
  • Social Perception*
  • Stereotyping*