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Contextually Determined Typicality

Peter Freytag

ISBN 978-3-8325-0359-8
140 pages, year of publication: 2003
price: 40.50 €
Prototypicality can be described as a mediating variable that depends on the context in which it is assessed and that affects subsequent information processing. In social psychology, however, social cognitive approaches to stereotyping have focused on typicality as an independent variable, whereas approaches to social categorization have focused on typicality as a dependent variable.

The working hypothesis of this report strings the basic messages of these literatures together. Extending the position of Oakes et al. (1998) according to which typicality "will vary along with variation in the intergroup context" to the consequences of typicality, Freytag argues that context dependent variation in typicality should be accompanied by a corresponding variation in stereotypical expectations. The central hypothesis receives empirical support in a series of experiments. The discussion addresses implications for models of the mental representation of social groups and lays out directions for a research program on intergroup perception that takes into account the long-term consequences of seemingly transient context effects.

Keywords:
  • Soziale Kategorisierung
  • Soziale Urteilsbildung
  • Kontingenzwahrnehmung
  • Typikalität

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