Stereotyping, Prejudice, and the Role of Anxiety for Compensatory Control


  • Lisa Juliane Schneider


This work examines the influence of personal control and anxiety on stereotyping and prejudice. In two experiments, personal control was manipulated in an autobiographical experience task. In Experiment 1, participants then completed measures of implicit and explicit gender stereotypes. In Experiment 2, implicit and explicit racial prejudice was assessed. Anxiety was tested as a possible mediator of the relationship between personal control and stereotyping and prejudice, respectively. Low personal control was associated with greater gender stereotyping and racial prejudice in explicit measures. Anxiety mediated the relationship between personal control and stereotyping but not between personal control and prejudice. Also, ingroup identification was found to moderate some of the relations between personal control, anxiety and stereotyping and prejudice. The results provide support for stereotyping and prejudice as compensatory control mechanisms, but evidence is mixed regarding the role of anxiety in mediating the processes.