Evaluative conditioning (EC) and persuasion are important pathways for shaping evaluations. However, little is known about how these pathways interact. Two preregistered experiments (total N = 1,510) examined effects of EC procedures (i.e., stimulus pairings) and EC instructions (i.e., instructions about stimulus pairings) on automatic and self-reported evaluations of social groups in the presence of more diagnostic information about the evaluative traits of those groups. Interestingly, both EC procedures and EC instructions still influenced automatic and self-reported evaluations when participants had read more diagnostic persuasive information. In line with predictions of propositional accounts of evaluation, EC instruction effects on automatic evaluations were not mediated by corresponding changes in self-reported evaluations. These results have theoretical implications and also highlight the important role that (instructions about) stimulus pairings have in social learning.
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- automatic evaluation
- evaluative conditioning