Subtyping and subgrouping: Processes for the prevention and promotion of stereotype change

  • Richards Z
  • Hewstone M
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Two processes of stereotyping, subtyping and subgrouping, are compared. Subtyping occurs when perceivers respond to members of a target group who disconfirm their stereotypes by seeing them as exceptions to the rule and placing them in a separate subcategory apart from members who confirm the stereotype. The more recently defined process of subgrouping refers to the perceiver's organization of information in terms of clusters of individuals based on their similarities and differences; subgroups can include confirmers and disconfirmers. Ne consider how subtypes and subgroups are defined operationalized, and measured, their consequences for stereotype change, and the role of typicality It is concluded that the clearest difference between subtyping and subgrouping is in terms of their consequences (subtyping leads to the preservation and subgrouping to differentiation of the stereotype). There are, however same similarities between the processes, and attention is drawn to what future research is required, both to deepen our knowledge of each process and clarify their distinction.

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  • Zoë Richards

  • Miles Hewstone

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