A life history theory of social perception: Stereotyping at the intersections of age, sex, ecology (and race)

Steven Neuberg, Oliver Sng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The authors present a framework to better account for the social dimensions people use to categorize others and the nuanced stereotypes they hold. Conceiving stereotypes as imperfect but useful tools for managing social threats and opportunities, and incorporating ideas from Life History Theory, the authors propose three dimensions of special significance for social perception-age, sex, and home ecology (characterized as "desperation" versus "hopeful"). People possess stereotypes about others along these dimensions-as intersecting AgeSexEcology stereotypes-because, interactively, these dimensions shape the goals and behavioral strategies of others. The authors hypothesize that AgeSexEcology stereotypes are universal. They further propose that race is an important dimension for categorization in the United States because it provides a cue to ecology, and that AgeSexRace stereotypes in the United States should thus track AgeSexEcology stereotypes. The authors discuss several novel implications of this approach for the literature on social stereotypes and for social perception processes more broadly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)696-711
Number of pages16
JournalSocial Cognition
Volume31
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013

Fingerprint

Social Perception
Stereotyping
Ecology
Cues
Life History Traits

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Cite this

A life history theory of social perception : Stereotyping at the intersections of age, sex, ecology (and race). / Neuberg, Steven; Sng, Oliver.

In: Social Cognition, Vol. 31, No. 6, 2013, p. 696-711.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{e4273361e3c040c68e8fd5911b9e80d6,
title = "A life history theory of social perception: Stereotyping at the intersections of age, sex, ecology (and race)",
abstract = "The authors present a framework to better account for the social dimensions people use to categorize others and the nuanced stereotypes they hold. Conceiving stereotypes as imperfect but useful tools for managing social threats and opportunities, and incorporating ideas from Life History Theory, the authors propose three dimensions of special significance for social perception-age, sex, and home ecology (characterized as {"}desperation{"} versus {"}hopeful{"}). People possess stereotypes about others along these dimensions-as intersecting AgeSexEcology stereotypes-because, interactively, these dimensions shape the goals and behavioral strategies of others. The authors hypothesize that AgeSexEcology stereotypes are universal. They further propose that race is an important dimension for categorization in the United States because it provides a cue to ecology, and that AgeSexRace stereotypes in the United States should thus track AgeSexEcology stereotypes. The authors discuss several novel implications of this approach for the literature on social stereotypes and for social perception processes more broadly.",
author = "Steven Neuberg and Oliver Sng",
year = "2013",
doi = "10.1521/soco.2013.31.6.696",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "31",
pages = "696--711",
journal = "Social Cognition",
issn = "0278-016X",
publisher = "Guilford Publications",
number = "6",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - A life history theory of social perception

T2 - Stereotyping at the intersections of age, sex, ecology (and race)

AU - Neuberg, Steven

AU - Sng, Oliver

PY - 2013

Y1 - 2013

N2 - The authors present a framework to better account for the social dimensions people use to categorize others and the nuanced stereotypes they hold. Conceiving stereotypes as imperfect but useful tools for managing social threats and opportunities, and incorporating ideas from Life History Theory, the authors propose three dimensions of special significance for social perception-age, sex, and home ecology (characterized as "desperation" versus "hopeful"). People possess stereotypes about others along these dimensions-as intersecting AgeSexEcology stereotypes-because, interactively, these dimensions shape the goals and behavioral strategies of others. The authors hypothesize that AgeSexEcology stereotypes are universal. They further propose that race is an important dimension for categorization in the United States because it provides a cue to ecology, and that AgeSexRace stereotypes in the United States should thus track AgeSexEcology stereotypes. The authors discuss several novel implications of this approach for the literature on social stereotypes and for social perception processes more broadly.

AB - The authors present a framework to better account for the social dimensions people use to categorize others and the nuanced stereotypes they hold. Conceiving stereotypes as imperfect but useful tools for managing social threats and opportunities, and incorporating ideas from Life History Theory, the authors propose three dimensions of special significance for social perception-age, sex, and home ecology (characterized as "desperation" versus "hopeful"). People possess stereotypes about others along these dimensions-as intersecting AgeSexEcology stereotypes-because, interactively, these dimensions shape the goals and behavioral strategies of others. The authors hypothesize that AgeSexEcology stereotypes are universal. They further propose that race is an important dimension for categorization in the United States because it provides a cue to ecology, and that AgeSexRace stereotypes in the United States should thus track AgeSexEcology stereotypes. The authors discuss several novel implications of this approach for the literature on social stereotypes and for social perception processes more broadly.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84890331589&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84890331589&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1521/soco.2013.31.6.696

DO - 10.1521/soco.2013.31.6.696

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84890331589

VL - 31

SP - 696

EP - 711

JO - Social Cognition

JF - Social Cognition

SN - 0278-016X

IS - 6

ER -