Social cognition: Thinking categorically about others

Neil Macrae, G V Bodenhausen

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature review

699 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In attempting to make sense of other people, perceivers regularly construct and use categorical representations to simplify and streamline the person perception process. Noting the importance of categorical thinking in everyday life, our emphasis in this chapter is on the cognitive dynamics of categorical social perception. In reviewing current research on this topic, three specific issues are addressed: (a) When are social categories activated by perceivers, (b) what are the typical consequences of category activation, and (c) can perceivers control the influence and expression of categorical thinking? Throughout the chapter, we consider how integrative models of cognitive functioning may inform our understanding of categorical social perception.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-120
Number of pages28
JournalAnnual Review of Psychology
Volume51
Publication statusPublished - 2000

Keywords

  • automaticity
  • inhibition
  • memory
  • stereotypes
  • person perception
  • STEREOTYPE ACTIVATION
  • AUTOMATIC ACTIVATION
  • IMPRESSION-FORMATION
  • RACIAL PREJUDICE
  • NAIVE THEORIES
  • CONTROLLED COMPONENTS
  • PERSON MEMORY
  • MENTAL LIFE
  • SELF
  • INFORMATION

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