- LAST REVIEWED: 03 October 2016
- LAST MODIFIED: 25 October 2012
- DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199828340-0086
- LAST REVIEWED: 03 October 2016
- LAST MODIFIED: 25 October 2012
- DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199828340-0086
Stereotypes represent a broad and general topic in psychology and other social sciences. The bulk of the theorizing and empirical data on stereotypes, however, comes from social psychology. As this annotated bibliography will show, there is widespread disagreement in emphasis, tone, and even data regarding the extent to which stereotypes are inaccurate, irrational, and a source or result of prejudice and discrimination. Stereotypes (the contents of people’s beliefs about groups) and stereotyping (the processes by which people—consciously or not—use their stereotypes to make sense of the world) have been studied by social psychologists for almost a century, and they remain hot topics. Although laypeople often seem to use the terms “stereotype,” “prejudice,” and “discrimination” nearly synonymously, social psychologists draw significant distinctions between each concept. Stereotypes are usually defined as beliefs about groups, prejudice as evaluation of or attitude toward a group, and discrimination as behavior that systematically advantages or disadvantages a group. This entry focuses on stereotypes.
The works in this section provide overviews and introductions to social scientific conceptualizations of stereotypes. The concept was first developed by Walter Lippmann in his book on public opinion (Lippmann 1922), which is worth reading even though it lacks scientific data, because one can readily see the roots of much modern-day thinking in Lippmann’s ideas. The single most influential broad overview of stereotypes, however, was provided by Allport 1979 (originally published in 1954). Although the title emphasizes prejudice, much of the book focuses on stereotypes, and it constitutes the foundation and starting point for nearly all modern research on stereotypes, especially from the social cognitive perspective. Ashmore and Del Boca 1981, Brigham 1971, and Hilton and von Hippel 1996 are all excellent article-length summaries of what was known about stereotypes up to their respective dates. Nelson 2009 is an edited volume that contains a collection of papers reviewing broad swaths of the scientific stereotype literature. Oakes, et al. 1994 is a broad and deep analysis of stereotypes from the perspectives of social identity and self-categorization theories—perspectives that have been more influential outside the United States (which has been dominated by the social cognition perspective). Schneider 2004 is perhaps the best single source yet written on stereotypes—it aspires to integrate broad and sometimes conflicting perspectives and data into a coherent perspective regarding what stereotypes are, how they function, and how they relate to prejudice and discrimination.
Allport, G. W. 1979. The nature of prejudice. 2d ed. New York: Basic Books.
Originally published in 1954. As part of this early classic, Allport extensively discusses stereotypes and how they relate to reality, prejudice, discrimination, politics, personality, and identity.
Ashmore, R. D., and F. K. Del Boca. 1981. Conceptual approaches to stereotypes and stereotyping. In Cognitive processes in stereotyping and intergroup behavior. Edited by D. L. Hamilton, 1–35. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Reviews theoretical approaches to stereotypes. Defines stereotypes as beliefs about the characteristics of social groups. This flexible definition is neutral in regard to the (ir)rationality, (in)accuracy, negativity, and rigidity of stereotypes; whether they are widely shared, conscious, or rigid; and whether they cause prejudice, biases, and discrimination. A good source for a politically and theoretically neutral conceptualization of stereotypes.
Brigham, J. C. 1971. Ethnic stereotypes. Psychological Bulletin 76.1: 15–38.
Useful review of much of the early literature on ethnic stereotypes. Raises questions about defining stereotypes, their content and development, their relationship to prejudice, and methods used to study them. Because laypeople and scientists alike use the term “stereotype” as an indictment of the invalidity of other people’s (not one’s own) beliefs about groups, Brigham defines ethnic stereotypes as “beliefs about an ethnic group considered unjustified by an observer” (p. 29).
Hilton, J. L., and W. von Hippel. 1996. Stereotypes. Annual Review of Psychology 47:237–271.
Broad review of stereotype literature mostly from the 1980s and 1990s. Emphasizes models of stereotype representation; processes that cause stereotypes to form, including self-fulfilling prophecies, nonconscious detection covariation, illusory correlation, and out-group homogeneity; processes that maintain stereotypes, including priming, assimilation, attribution, and memory; applications of stereotypes; and stereotype change.
Lippmann, Walter. 1922. Public opinion. New York: Harcourt, Brace.
Although this book was written by a journalist about public opinion many years ago, it contains the earliest and one of the most influential psychological definitions of stereotypes—as “pictures in the head” (p. 16) about various groups. Constitutes a main root of perspectives emphasizing inaccuracy, relationship to prejudice, stereotypes as oversimplifications (cognitive miser view), and stereotypes as justifications for inequality.
Nelson, T. D., ed. 2009. Handbook of prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination. New York: Psychology Press.
This edited volume includes entries reviewing research on a broad array of stereotype topics, including history, power, automaticity and control, stereotype threat, accuracy, entitavity, shifting standards, and social neuroscience.
Oakes, P. J., S. A. Haslam, and J. C. Turner. 1994. Stereotyping and social reality. Oxford: Blackwell.
Presents a broad and sweeping review of what is known about stereotypes. This includes a vigorous critique of the dominant social cognition perspective, especially its emphasis on error and bias. Includes a review and critique of the social identity theory approach to stereotypes and the presentation of (what was then) a new approach that built on social identity theory: self-categorization theory.
Schneider, D. J. 2004. The psychology of stereotyping. New York: Guilford.
The most comprehensive and balanced treatise on the psychological research on and related to stereotyping yet written.
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- Abnormal Psychology
- Action Research
- Addictive Behavior
- Affective Forecasting
- Allport, Gordon
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Animal Behavior
- Animal Learning
- Anxiety Disorders
- Art and Aesthetics, Psychology of
- Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) In Adults
- Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Childre...
- Attraction in Close Relationships
- Attribution Theory
- Authoritarian Personality
- Behavior Therapy, Rational Emotive
- Behavioral Economics
- Behavioral Genetics
- Bereavement and Grief
- Biological Psychology
- Birth Order
- Body Image in Men and Women
- Bystander Effect
- Clinical Neuropsychology
- Clinical Psychology
- Cognitive Consistency Theories
- Cognitive Dissonance Theory
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Communication, Nonverbal Cues and
- Comparative Psychology
- Conformity, Compliance, and Obedience
- Coping Processes
- Counseling Psychology
- Critical Thinking
- Cross-Cultural Psychology
- Cultural Psychology
- Death and Dying
- Deceiving and Detecting Deceit
- Defensive Processes
- Depressive Disorders
- Development, Prenatal
- Developmental Psychology (Cognitive)
- Developmental Psychology (Social)
- Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM...
- Dissociative Disorders
- Drugs and Behavior
- Eating Disorders
- Ecological Psychology
- Educational Settings, Assessment of Thinking in
- Embodiment and Embodied Cognition
- Emerging Adulthood
- Emotional Intelligence
- Environmental Neuroscience and Environmental Psychology
- Ethics in Psychological Practice
- Evolutionary Psychology
- Eyewitness Testimony
- Factor Analysis
- Festinger, Leon
- Five-Factor Model of Personality
- Flynn Effect, The
- Friendships, Children's
- Fundamental Attribution Error/Correspondence Bias
- Gambler's Fallacy
- Game Theory and Psychology
- Health Psychology
- Heuristics and Biases
- History of Psychology
- Human Factors
- Implicit Association Test (IAT)
- Industrial and Organizational Psychology
- Intercultural Psychology
- Intergroup Conflict
- International Classification of Diseases and Related Healt...
- International Psychology
- Interviewing in Forensic Settings
- Intimate Partner Violence, Psychological Perspectives on
- Item Response Theory
- Law, Psychology and
- Learned Helplessness
- Learning versus Performance
- LGBTQ+ Romantic Relationships
- Lie Detection in a Forensic Context
- Life-Span Development
- Locus of Control
- Meaning in Life
- Mechanisms and Processes of Peer Contagion
- Memories, Autobiographical
- Memories, Flashbulb
- Memories, Repressed and Recovered
- Memory, Human
- Memory, Implicit versus Explicit
- Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)
- Moral Development
- Moral Psychology
- Moral Reasoning
- Neuroscience of Associative Learning
- Obsessive-Complusive Disorder (OCD)
- Operant Conditioning
- Optimism and Pessimism
- Organizational Justice
- Parenting Stress
- Path Models
- Peace Psychology
- Perception, Person
- Personality Disorders
- Personality Psychology
- Placebo Effects in Psychology
- Positive Psychology
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Prejudice and Stereotyping
- Prisoner's Dilemma
- Prosocial Behavior
- Prosocial Spending and Well-Being
- Psychology, Political
- Psychophysics, Visual
- Psychotic Disorders
- Reasoning, Counterfactual
- Rehabilitation Psychology
- Religion, Psychology and
- Research Methods
- Risk Taking
- Schizophrenic Disorders
- School Psychology
- Self, Gender and
- Self, Psychology of the
- Self-Regulation in Educational Settings
- Sensation Seeking
- Sex and Gender
- Sexual Minority Parenting
- Sexual Orientation
- Single People
- Skinner, B.F.
- Sleep and Dreaming
- Small Groups
- Social Class and Social Status
- Social Cognition
- Social Neuroscience
- Social Touch and Massage Therapy Research
- Somatoform Disorders
- Sports Psychology
- Stereotype Threat
- Subjective Wellbeing Homeostasis
- Teaching of Psychology
- Terror Management Theory
- Testing and Assessment
- Theory of Mind
- Therapies, Person-Centered
- Therapy, Cognitive-Behavioral
- Thinking Skills in Educational Settings
- Time Perception
- Trait Perspective
- Twin Studies
- Type A Behavior Pattern (Coronary Prone Personality)
- Women and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM...
- Women, Psychology of