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Selective Self-Stereotyping

by M Biernat, T K Vescio, M L Green
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology ()
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Abstract

In an examination of group members' responses to the threat of negative in-group characterizations, sorority/fraternity members were asked to rate themselves, their own sorority/fraternity, sororities/ fraternities in general, and students in general on attributes that were stereotypic of sororities/ fraternities. Results showed that individuals selectively self-stereotyped - they embraced positive stereotypes as highly descriptive of themselves and their closest in-groups but rejected negative stereotypes. They did not, however, deny that negative stereotypes were accurate or valid - they continued to accept them as typical of sororities/fraternities in general. This represents a protective, creative response to the threat posed by exposure to negative group attributes, in which self-stereotyping as a result of self-categorization is selective rather than complete.

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