Easing in: Fluent processing brings others into the ingroup

Heather M. Claypool, Meghan K. Housley, Kurt Hugenberg, Michael J. Bernstein, Diane M. Mackie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Four experiments demonstrated that perceptual fluency can facilitate categorization of others as ingroup members. In Experiment 1 (replications A, B, and C), White participants were first exposed to a group of White target individuals and later judged whether fluent (repeated) and disfluent (novel) targets were members of a particular ingroup or not. In each replication, fluent targets were categorized as ingroup members more readily than were disfluent ones. Experiment 2 replicated and extended this finding by showing that both White (racial ingroup) and Black (racial outgroup) targets were more frequently perceived as school ingroup members when fluent (repeated). In Experiments 3 and 4, fluency was manipulated via visual clarity and, again, fluency engendered more ingroup categorizations than did disfluency, for both racial ingroup and outgroup targets. Moreover, findings from Experiment 4 suggested that liking fully mediated the fluency-ingroup categorization relation. Implications of these findings for the literatures on fluency and intergroup relations are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)441-455
Number of pages15
JournalGroup Processes and Intergroup Relations
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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