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Chameleonic social identities: Context induces shifts in homosexuals' self‐stereotyping and self‐categorization

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European Journal of Social Psychology

Published online on


Do people align their self‐concepts to the environment? It was predicted that low‐status (homosexuals), but not high‐status group members (heterosexuals), respond to environmental cues by shifting the type of self‐categorization and self‐stereotyping. In the presence (vs. absence) of environmental cues to sexual orientation, homosexual individuals felt more talented for typically homosexual jobs and showed greater self‐stereotyping on typically homosexual traits (Experiment 1). Using implicit measures of self‐categorization and self‐stereotyping, we observed parallel findings for homosexuals, but not for heterosexuals (Experiment 2). Results are discussed in relation to research on stigma, with particular attention to the potential benefits for low‐status group members of changing their implicit self‐concept flexibly across situations. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.