Four meanings of "categorization": A conceptual analysis of research on person perception
until further notice
Number of pages
SourceSocial and Personality Psychology Compass, 11, 8, (2017), article e12336
Article / Letter to editor
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PI Group Decision Neuroscience
SW OZ BSI SCP
SW OZ DCC KI
Social and Personality Psychology Compass
SubjectBehaviour Change and Well-being; Cognitive artificial intelligence; DI-BCB_DCC_Theme 2: Perception, Action and Control
It is widely assumed that people tend to "categorize" other people. However, the term "categorization" has been used with qualitatively different underlying definitions in the person perception literature. We present a conceptual analysis in which we disentangle four existing definitions: (a) categorization as representing, (b) categorization as dichotomizing, (c) categorization as organizing, and (d) categorization as grouping. Subsequently, we show that seemingly antagonistic viewpoints in the literature may be reconciled by disentangling these definitions. Furthermore, we argue that disentangling these definitions is vital for theoretical interpretations of (past and future) empirical findings. Overall, our work aims to contribute to the clarity of person perception theories, provide novel perspectives on existing debates, and serve as a stepping stone for more differentiated models of person perception.
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