Social Tuning of Automatic Racial Attitudes: The Role of Affiliative Motivation

Social Tuning of Automatic Racial Attitudes: The Role of Affiliative Motivation

By
Stacey Sinclair, Brian Lowery, Curtis D. Hardin, A. Colangelo
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
2005, Vol. 89, Issue 4, Pages 583-592

Consistent with the affiliative social tuning hypothesis, this study showed that the desire to get along with another person shifted participants' automatic attitudes toward the ostensible attitudes of that person. In Experiment 1, the automatic racial attitudes of women but not men emulated those of an experimenter displaying race-egalitarian attitudes or attitudes neutral with respect to race. Mediational analysis revealed that the gender difference in social tuning was mediated by liking for the experimenter. In Experiment 2, the likability of the experimenter was manipulated. Individuals who interacted with a likable experimenter exhibited social tuning more so than did those who interacted with a rude experimenter. These findings suggest that affiliative motives may elicit malleability of automatic attitudes independent of manipulations of social group exemplars.