Rasmussen, A. & Rohner, J.-C. (2011). Physical attractiveness stereotype and memory. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology. Three experiments examined explicit and implicit memory for information that is congruent with the physical attractiveness stereotype (i.e. attractive-positive and unattractive-negative) and information that is incongruent with the physical attractiveness stereotype (i.e. attractive-negative and unattractive-positive). Measures of explicit recognition sensitivity and implicit discriminability revealed a memorial advantage for congruent compared to incongruent information, as evident from hit and false alarm rates and reaction times, respectively. Measures of explicit memory showed a recognition bias toward congruent compared to incongruent information, where participants tended to call congruent information old, independently of whether the information had been shown previously or not. This recognition bias was unrelated to reports of subjective confidence in retrieval. The present findings shed light on the cognitive mechanisms that might mediate discriminatory behavior towards physically attractive and physically unattractive individuals.
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