Context and the Social SelfRegulation of Stereotyping: Perception, Judgment, and Behavior
Dominic Abrams Barbara Masser University of Kent at Canterbury, UK
We were impressed by the depth and breadth of Bodenhausen and Macrae's general model of the influence of stereotypes on interpersonal impressions, judgments, and behaviors. It elegantly ties together many loose ends in the area of stereotype-based judgment. In particular, Bodenhausen and Macrae have identified ways in which relatively nonconscious and relatively conscious processes can operate to inhibit and facilitate dependency on stereotypes. Their working assumptions seem to be that perceivers generally categorize targets, that these categorizations invoke stereotypes, that these stereotypes are generally negative and undesirable, and that perceivers generally regard their own dependency on stereotypes as undesirable. Exceptions to this scenario include the operation of very strong direct normative pressures in favor of stereotyping or very strongly held personal stereotypes/ideologies.
Our commentary is made from a social identity perspective. We examine the distinction between categorization and stereotyping, the functions served by stereotyping, and variability in stereotyping. We discuss social identity and some motivational issues, and we conclude with a discussion