Reactance to (or acceptance of) stereotypes: Implicit and explicit responses to group identity threat

Maïka Telga

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)


    We propose that reactance to threats to individual freedom can be broadened to include threats to group identity and its associated values and norms. In two studies we primed women and men with (counter) stereotypical roles and measured implicit activation of reactance versus acceptance goals, task persistence, and support for system justification beliefs and collective action. Although we found no direct evidence of reactance activation, men activated acceptance when primed with gender stereotypes, whereas women did not. Further, traditional women legitimize the system after counter-stereotypical exposure, whereas progressive women (feminist identifiers) persist more in solving a task stereotypically favoring men under these conditions (Study 1). Finally, nonsexist women show higher support for collective action after stereotypical exposure when threat to their identity is blatant (Study 2). We argue that reactions to identity threats depend on the content of that identity so that the specific form reactance takes may depend on the group norms being threatened.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)236-246
    Number of pages10
    JournalZeitschrift fur Psychologie
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 8 Dec 2015


    • Group Resistance
    • Implicit Measures
    • Social Reactance
    • Social Roles


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