ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2016, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (10): 1519-1533.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2016.01519

• Conceptual Framework •     Next Articles

The distributed semantic representation and activation processes of the implicit and explicit stereotypes: An examination based on the perspective of cognitive neuroscience

JIA Lei1; ZHU Shurong1; ZHANG Changjie1; ZHANG Qinglin2   

  1. (1 Department of Psychology, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou 310023, China); (2 Faculty of Psychology, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China)
  • Received:2015-12-07 Online:2016-10-15 Published:2016-10-15
  • Contact: ZHANG Changjie, E-mail: ZHANG Qinglin, E-mail:


Stereotype refers to social beliefs about the characteristics, attributes, and behaviors of certain groups, which is usually represented as semantic schema in long-term memory. According to the different levels of involvement of consciousness in the process of semantic activation, stereotypes can be classified as implicit and explicit types. Instead of drawing on the conventional “automatic activation-controlled inhibition” research perspective of the Dual-process model, this study aimed to examine the differences in representation and the mechanism of activation between the implicit and explicit stereotypes based on the Multiple Memory Systems (MMS) Model. As a classical theory of memory, the MMS model could account for the differences of memory storage and retrieval process between the implicit and explicit stereotypes, but encounters difficulty in explaining their traits in semantic representation, as well as their control- inhibition processes. Given this research gap, the current study intended to take advantage of the respective strengths of Mirror-Mentalizing System Model and the Dual-process Model in explaining the processing of traits and beliefs and the control-inhibition of stereotypes. By using the EEG/ERPs method and the dynamic causal modeling of fMRI, this study would propose a model for the dynamic processing of distributed semantic activation of stereotypes.

Key words: stereotype, implicit social cognition, Multiple Memory Systems Model, Dual-process Model, Mirror-Mentalizing System Model