This research investigated the motivational influences of personal involvement and target race on the social judgments about and behavior toward another person. Specifically, male undergraduates were led to anticipate either a series of dates (high involvement) or a brief interaction (low involvement) with a white or a black female. As predicted, high as compared to low involvement subjects demonstrated more concern with their personal appearance, thought relatively more about the immediate interpersonal situation, and felt more apprehensive and less positive about their partners, their upcoming interactions, and the study as a whole, with these tendencies more pronounced among subjects expecting a black partner. In contrast to these judgment and evaluation measures, however, the overt behavior of high involvement subjects toward a different black female was especially warm and friendly. Additional analyses suggested that low levels of involvement may reduce people's tendencies to stereotype at a global level. The natura and effects of different motivational factors and their implications for processes of stereotype change are discussed.
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