Do situational cues to individuals' social identities shift the way they look at objects? Do such shifts hinge on the structure of individuals' self-concept? We hypothesized individuals with integrated identities would exhibit attentional biases congruent with identity cues (assimilative response), whereas those with nonintegrated identities would exhibit attentional biases incongruent with identity cues (contrastive response). Dual identity participants (Asian Americans, Study 1; female lawyers, Study 2) were exposed to identity primes and then asked to focus on central, focal objects in a stimulus display. Among participants with high identity integration, American (Study 1) or lawyer priming (Study 2) shifted attention toward focal objects (assimilative response). Among participants with low identity integration, Asian (Study 1) or female priming (Study 2) shifted attention toward focal objects (contrastive response). Dual identity integration moderates responses to identity cues in attentional focus. Implications for identity structure, object perception, and task performance are discussed.
Mok, Aurelia, and Michael Morris. "Attentional focus and the dynamics of dual identity integration: Evidence from Asian Americans and female lawyers." Social Psychological and Personality Science 3, no. 5 (2012): 597-604.
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