Knowing how to react: Automatic response priming from social categories

Kai J. Jonas*, Kai Sassenberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Four studies tested whether social category primes did not only prime descriptions, behaviors of this respective group, and general behavioral tendencies but also specific behavioral responses toward this group. The activation (Studies 1-3) and the accomplishment of such response behavior (Study 4) were found. Study 2 showed that the activation of response behavior was based on dynamic and, thus, directional representations: Social category primes activated response behavior, but response behavior primes did not activate social category targets. Furthermore, the effect was specified by the mind-set that was operating when the social category was activated: Response behavior was activated in a differentiation mind-set but not in a similarity mind-set (Study 3). The research extends behavioral priming by adding a specific response behavior perspective.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)709-721
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • automatic behavior
  • stereotypes
  • social category
  • response behavior
  • priming

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