Stereotypes, Prejudice, and the Taxonomy of the Implicit Social Mind

Noûs 52 (3):611-644 (2018)
  Copy   BIBTEX


How do cognition and affect interact to produce action? Research in intergroup psychology illuminates this question by investigating the relationship between stereotypes and prejudices about social groups. Yet it is now clear that many social attitudes are implicit. This raises the question: how does the distinction between cognition and affect apply to implicit mental states? An influential view—roughly analogous to a Humean theory of action—is that “implicit stereotypes” and “implicit prejudices” constitute two separate constructs, reflecting different mental processes and neural systems. On this basis, some have also argued that interventions to reduce discrimination should combat implicit stereotypes and prejudices separately. We propose an alternative framework. We argue that all putative implicit stereotypes are affect-laden and all putative implicit prejudices are “semantic,” that is, they stand in co-activating associations with concepts and beliefs. Implicit biases, therefore, consist in “clusters” of semantic-affective associations, which differ in degree, rather than kind. This framework captures the psychological structure of implicit bias, promises to improve the power of indirect measures to predict behavior, and points toward the design of more effective interventions to combat discrimination.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 83,980

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Implicit attitudes and implicit prejudices.René Baston & Gottfried Vosgerau - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (6):889-903.
Responsibility for Implicit Bias.Jules Holroyd - 2012 - Journal of Social Philosophy 43 (3):274-306.


Added to PP

285 (#51,775)

6 months
25 (#77,450)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

Michael Brownstein
John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY)
Alex Madva
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Citations of this work

The wrongs of racist beliefs.Rima Basu - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 176 (9):2497-2515.
The Structure of Bias.Gabbrielle M. Johnson - 2020 - Mind 129 (516):1193-1236.
Implicit bias.Michael Brownstein - 2017 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

View all 28 citations / Add more citations