The ABC of stereotypes about groups: Agency / socio-economic success, conservative-progressive beliefs, and communion


Previous research argued that stereotypes differ primarily on the 2 dimensions of warmth/communion and competence/agency. We identify an empirical gap in support for this notion. The theoretical model constrains stereotypes a priori to these 2 dimensions; without this constraint, participants might spontaneously employ other relevant dimensions. We fill this gap by complementing the existing theory-driven approaches with a data-driven approach that allows an estimation of the spontaneously employed dimensions of stereotyping. Seven studies (total N = 4,451) show that people organize social groups primarily based on their agency/socioeconomic success (A), and as a second dimension, based on their conservative-progressive beliefs (B). Communion © is not found as a dimension by its own, but rather as an emergent quality in the two-dimensional space of A and B, resulting in a 2D ABC model of stereotype content about social groups.

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 110, 675-709