Abandoning a label doesn't make it disappear: The perseverance of labeling effects

Journal article


Foroni, Francesco and Rothbart, Myron. (2013) Abandoning a label doesn't make it disappear: The perseverance of labeling effects. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2012.08.002
AuthorsForoni, Francesco and Rothbart, Myron
Abstract

Labels exert strong influence on perception and judgment. The present experiment examines the possibility that such effects may persist even when labels are abandoned. Participants judged the similarity of pairs of silhouette drawings of female body types, ordered on a continuum from very thin to very heavy, under conditions where category labels were, and were not, superimposed on the ordered stimuli. Consistent with earlier research, labels had strong effects on perceived similarity, with silhouettes sharing the same label judged as more similar than those having different labels. Moreover, when the labels were removed and no longer present, the effect of the labels, although diminished, persisted. It did not make any difference whether the labels were simply abandoned or, in addition, had their validity challenged. The results are important for our understanding of categorization and labeling processes. The potential theoretical and practical implications of these results for social processes are discussed.

Keywordslabeling effect; perseverance; categorization
Year2013
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
PublisherAcademic Press
ISSN0022-1031
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2012.08.002
Scopus EID2-s2.0-84867491563
Page range126 - 131
Research GroupSchool of Philosophy
Place of publicationUnited States of America
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