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Conjunctions of social categories considered from different points of view

Hampton, J. A., Dillane, M., Oren, L. & Worgan, L. (2011). Conjunctions of social categories considered from different points of view. Anthropology and Philosophy, 10, pp. 31-57.


Conjunctions of divergent social categories may elicit emergent attributes to render the composite concept more coherent. Following Kunda, Miller & Clare, (1990) participants listed and rated attributes for people who belong to unexpected conjunctions of social categories. In order to explore the flexibility in such constructions, they were also asked to adopt the point of view of a person in one of the two categories. Experiment 1 found that when adopting the point of view of one constituent category, people tended to combine the concepts antagonistically, meaning that they attributed to members of the conjunction the more negative aspects of the opposing category. Experiment 2 showed that this polarizing effect was reduced when the point of view category was itself unusual. Strong gender stereotype differences were also found in the degree to which combinations were antagonistic. Female stereotypes as points of view generated a greater degree of integration in the conceptual combination.

Publication Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
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