Social Reward Shapes Confirmation of Interpersonal Expectations, Jean Luo, UG '21 (2304968)
Human minds use categories to process the constant onslaught of information from the environment. A direct consequence of this use of categories has also made people susceptible to relying too much on stereotypes when making judgments about others. Beyond the obvious negative effects of stereotyping, such as discriminatory treatment based on group identity, one particularly perplexing consequence occurs when targets internalize the stereotypes of their groups. Behavioral confirmation refers to the phenomenon whereby stereotype-holders' expectations influence their treatment of stereotyped members in a way that elicits confirmatory behavior so that initial expectations become reality. The main question my work asked was, what might motivate people to confirm the expectations of others? I present findings from a study in which I examine the effects of social reward on the confirmation and internalization of interpersonal expectations.