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Restraining the expression of stereotypes is a necessary requirement for harmonious living, yet surprisingly little is known about the efficacy of this process. Accordingly, in two experiments, here we used a stop-signal task to establish how effectively stereotype-related responses can be inhibited. In Experiment 1, following the presentation of gender-typed occupational contexts, participants reported the sex of target faces (i.e., Go trials) unless an occasional auditory tone indicated they should withhold their response (i.e., Stop trials). In Experiment 2, following the presentation of male and female faces, participants made either stereotypic or counter-stereotypic judgments, unless a stop signal was presented. Regardless of whether stereotyping was probed indirectly (Experiment 1) or directly (Experiment 2), a consistent pattern of results was observed; inhibition was faster for stereotypic compared with counter-stereotypic responses. These findings demonstrate that stopping stereotyping may be less challenging than has widely been assumed.
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