Category-Based and Individuating Processes as a Function of Information and Motivation: Evidence from Our Laboratory

  • Susan T. Fiske
  • Steven L. Neuberg
Part of the Springer Series in Social Psychology book series (SSSOC)

Abstract

When do people form impressions of others based on the stereotypes and prejudices associated with the others’ category memberships, and when instead do they form impressions based on the others’ own particular individuating characteristics? Although people seem to think they should not respond to others on the basis of social group memberships, such category-based responses continue in subtle and not-so-subtle ways (e.g., Crosby, Bromley, & Saxe, 1980; Pettigrew & Martin, 1987). Moreover, while it is clear that people are also fully capable of individuating others, it appears that they do so only when certain conditions are met. Our intent in this chapter is to explicate these conditions and to address some of the factors that elicit them. In this manner, we hope to contribute to interventions aimed at reducing the incidence of impressions formed on the basis of stereotypes and prejudices.

Keywords

Posit Dition Mellon 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Allport, G.W. (1954). The nature of prejudice. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  2. Anderson, N.H. (1974). Information integration: A brief survey. In D.H. Krantz, R.C. Atkinson, R.D. Luce, & P. Suppes (Eds.), Contemporary developments in mathematical psychology (pp. 236–305 ). San Francisco: Freeman.Google Scholar
  3. Asch, S.E. (1946). Forming impressions of personality. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 41, 258–290.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bargh, J.A., Bond, R.N., Lombardi, W., & Tota, M. (1986). The additive nature of chronic and temporary sources of construct accessibility. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 50, 869–878.Google Scholar
  5. Bechtold, A., Naccarato, M.E., & Zanna, M.P. ( 1986, September). Need for structure and the prejudice-discrimination link. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Canadian Psychological Association, Toronto, Ontario.Google Scholar
  6. Berscheid, R., Graziano, W., Monson, R., & Dermer, M. (1976). Outcome dependency, attention, attribution, and attraction. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 34, 978–989.Google Scholar
  7. Brewer, M.B. (1988). A dual process model of impression formation. In T.K. Srull & R.S. Wyer, Jr. (Eds.), Advances in social cognition (Vol. 1 ) (pp. 1–36 ). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  8. Brewer, M.B., Dull, V., & Lui, L. (1981). Perceptions of the elderly: Stereotypes as prototypes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 8, 393–400.Google Scholar
  9. Brooks, L. (1978). Nonanalytic concept formation and memory for instances. In E. Rosch & B.B. Lloyd (Eds.), Cognition and categorization (pp. 169–211 ). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  10. Bruner, J.S. (1957). On perceptual readiness. Psychological Review, 64, 123–152.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Cantor, N., & Mischel, W. (1979). Prototypes in person perception. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 12 ) (pp. 3–52 ). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  12. Crocker, J., & Gallo, L. (1985, August). The self-enhancing effect of downward comparison. Paper presented at the meeting of the American Psychological Association, Los Angeles, CA.Google Scholar
  13. Crocker, J., Thompson, L., McGraw, K.M., & Ingerman, C. (1987). Downward comparison, prejudice, and evaluations of others: Effects of self-esteem and threat. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 52, 907–916.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Crosby, F., Bromley, S., & Saxe, L. (1980). Recent unobtrusive studies of black and white discrimination and prejudice: A literature review. Psychological Bulletin, 87, 546–563.Google Scholar
  15. Deaux, K., & Lewis, L. (1984). The structure of gender stereotypes: Interrelationships among components and gender label. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 46, 991–1004.Google Scholar
  16. Erber, R. (1985). Choosing among multiple categories: The effects of mood on category accessibility, inference, and interpersonal affect. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA.Google Scholar
  17. Erber, R., & Fiske, S.T. (1984). Outcome dependency and attention to inconsistent information. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 47, 709–726.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Fishbein, M., & Ajzen, I. (1975). Belief, attitude, intention, and behavior: An introduction to theory and research. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  19. Fiske, S.T. & Cox, M.G. (1979). Person concepts: The effects of target familiarity and descriptive purpose on the process of describing others. Journal of Personality, 47, 136–161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Fiske, S.T., & Neuberg, S.L. (in press). A continuum of impression formation, from category-based to individuating processes: Influences of information and motivation on attention and interpretation. To appear in M.P. Zanna (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 23). Academic Press: New York.Google Scholar
  21. Fiske, S.T., Neuberg, S.L., Beattie, A.E., & Milberg, S.J. (1987). Category-based and attribute-based reactions to others: Some informational conditions of stereotyping and individuating processes. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 23, 399–427.Google Scholar
  22. Fiske, S.T., Neuberg, S.L., Pratto, F., & Allman, C. (1986). Stereotyping and individuating: The effects of information inconsistency and set size on attribute-oriented processing. Unpublished manuscript, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.Google Scholar
  23. Fiske, S.T., & Pavelchak, M.A. (1986). Category-based versus piecemeal-based affective responses: Developments in schema-triggered affect. In R.M. Sorrentino & E.T. Higgins (Eds.), Handbook of motivation and cognition: Foundations of social behavior (pp. 167–203 ). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  24. Fiske, S.T., & Taylor, S.E. (1984). Social cognition. New York: Random House.Google Scholar
  25. Higgins, E.T. & King, G.A. (1981). Accessibility of social constructs: Information-processing consequences of individual and contextual variability. In N. Cantor & J.R. Kihlstrom (Eds.), Personality, cognition, and social interaction (pp. 69–121 ). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  26. Higgins, E.T., King, G.A., & Mavin, G. H. (1982). Individual construct accessibility and subjective impressions and recall. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 43, 35–47.Google Scholar
  27. Higgins, E.T., Rholes, W.S., & Jones, C.R. (1977). Category accessibility and impression formation. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 21, 1–18.Google Scholar
  28. Jones, E.E., & Goethals, G. (1972). Order effects in impression formation: Attribution context and the nature of the entity. In E.E. Jones, D.E. Kanouse, H.H. Kelley, R.E. Nisbett, S. Valins, & B. Weiner (Eds.), Attribution: Perceiving the causes of behavior (pp. 27–46 ). Morristown, NJ: General Learning Process.Google Scholar
  29. Kahneman, D., & Miller, D.T. (1986). Norm theory: Comparing reality to its alternatives. Psychological Review, 93, 136–153.Google Scholar
  30. Kruglanski, A.W. (in press). Motivations for judging and knowing: Implications for causal attribution. In E.T. Higgins & R.M. Sorrentino (Eds.), Handbook of motivation and cognition: Foundations of social behavior (Vol. 2). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  31. Kruglanski, A.W., & Freund, T. (1983). The freezing and unfreezing of lay-inferences: Effects of impressional primacy, ethnic stereotyping, and numerical anchoring. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 19, 448–468.Google Scholar
  32. Locksley, A., Borgida, E., Brekke, N., & Hepburn, C. (1980). Sex stereotypes and social judgment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 39, 821–831.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Markus, H. (1977). Self-schemata and processing information about the self. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 35, 63–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Markus, H., Smith, J., & Moreland, R.L. (1985). Role of the self-concept in the perception of others. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 49, 1494–1512.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Mayseless, O., & Kruglanski, A.W. (1987). What makes you so sure?: Effects of epistemic motivations on judgmental confidence. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 39, 162–183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. McArthur, L.Z. (1982). Judging a book by its cover: A cognitive analysis of the relationship between physical appearance and stereotyping. In A. Hastorf & A. Isen (Eds.), Cognitive social psychology (pp. 149–210 ). New York: Elsevier North-Holland.Google Scholar
  37. McArthur, L.Z., & Post, D.L. (1977). Figural emphasis and person perception. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 13, 520–535.Google Scholar
  38. Milford, J.T. (1978). Aesthetic aspects of faces: A (somewhat) phenomenological analysis using multidimensional scaling methods. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 36, 205–216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Neuberg, S.L., & Fiske, S.T. (1987). Motivational influences on impression formation: Outcome dependency, accuracy-driven attention, and individuating processes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 53, 431–444.Google Scholar
  40. Nisbett, R.E., Zukier, H., & Lemley, R.E. (1981). The dilution effect: Non-diagnostic information weakens the implications of diagnostic information. Cognitive Psychology, 13, 248–277.Google Scholar
  41. Omoto, A.M., Borgida, E. (1988). Guess who might be coming to dinner?: Personal involve- ment and racial stereotyping. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 24, 571–593.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Pavelchak, M. (in press). Forming impressions of others: A demonstration of two distinct processes using an idiographic measurement technique. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.Google Scholar
  43. Pettigrew, T.F., & Martin, J. (1987). Shaping the organizational context for black American inclusion. Journal of Social Issues, 43, 41–78.Google Scholar
  44. Posner, M.I., Nissen, M.J., & Klein, R.M. (1976). Visual dominance: An information processing account of its origins and significance. Psychological Review, 83, 157–171.Google Scholar
  45. Rasinski, K.S., Crocker, J., & Hastie, R. (1985). Another look at sex stereotypes and social judgments: An analysis of the social perceiver’s use of subjective probabilities. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 49, 317–326.Google Scholar
  46. Schneider, D.J., Hastorf, A.H., & Ellsworth, P.C. (1979). Person perception. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  47. Snyder, M., Campbell, B.H., & Preston, E. (1982). Testing hypotheses about human nature: Assessing the accuracy of social stereotypes. Social Cognition, 1, 256–272.Google Scholar
  48. Srull, T.K., & Wyer, R.S., Jr. (1979). The role of category accessibility in the interpretation of information about persons: Some determinants and implications. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37, 1660–1672.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Tajfel, H. (1981). Human groups and social categories. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  50. Taylor, S.E. (1981). A categorization approach to stereotyping. In D.L. Hamilton (Ed.), Cognitive processes in stereotyping and intergroup behavior (pp. 88–114 ). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  51. Taylor, S.E., Fiske, S.T., Close, M., Anderson, C., & Ruderman, A. (1977). Solo status as a psychological variable: The power of being distinctive. Unpublished manuscript, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  52. Tetlock, P.E. (1983a). Accountability and complexity of thought. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 45, 74–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Tetlock, P.E. (1983b). Accountability and the perseverance of first impressions. Social Psychology Quarterly, 46, 285–292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Tetlock, P.E. (1985). Accountability: A social check on the fundamental attribution error. Social Psychology Quarterly, 48, 227–236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Weber, R., & Crocker, J. (1983). Cognitive processes in the revision of stereotypic beliefs. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 45, 961–977.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Word, C.O., Zanna, M.P., & Cooper, J. (1974). The nonverbal mediation of self-fulfilling prophecies in interracial interaction. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 10, 109–120.Google Scholar
  57. Wyer, R.S., Jr., & Srull, T.K. (1980). The processing of social stimulus information: A conceptual integration. In R. Hastie, T.M. Ostrom, E.B. Ebbensen, R.S. Wyer, Jr., D. Hamilton, & D.E. Carlston (Eds.), Person memory: The cognitive basis of social perception (pp. 227–300 ). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  58. Wyer, R.S., Jr., & Srull, T.K. (1981). Category accessibility: Some theoretical and empirical issues concerning the processing of social stimulus information. In E.T. Higgins, C.P. Herman, & M.P. Zanna (Eds.), Social cognition: The Ontario symposium (Vol. 1 ) (pp. 161–197 ). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan T. Fiske
  • Steven L. Neuberg

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations