Faculty of Psychology, Warsaw School of Social Psychology
One of the ways people understand the world is by creating stories. Making stories is a powerful and early acquired way an individual interprets social events, own identity and other persons. (Bruner, 1986, 1991; Sarbin, 1986). Within a narrative framework a person is understood as a character of a specified history: past, ongoing, future, possible or imagined. A story context of person perception should differ from a stereotypical framework. Data from our experiments support the above assumptions. The narrative mode of person data processing was activated by a priming procedure. It was contrasted with non-narrative priming and no priming condition. After the priming, the subjects were provided with data on a stimulus person. It appeared, that after narrative priming, in comparison to other priming conditions, (a) traits attribution to a stimulus person are less stereotypical and (b) motive and emotion categories became more accentuated. Also, after the narrative priming, the RT of attributions made for the stimuli person is faster for non-stereotypical categories and slower for stereotypical one, in comparison to contrasting priming conditions. The same result occurs when stimulus person was presented within a story vs. trait-list frame: a story context reduces stereotype. The RT data confirms that the narrative effect occurs also in processes, which are not consciously controlled.
Keywords: social cognition, narratives, narrative understanding, empathy, stereotype
Cite this article as:
Trzebiński, J., Antczak, E. (2006). A story and a stereotype: Two frames for person perception. Psychologia Społeczna, 2, 33-43.