Social categorisation as a function of relative group size
SourceBritish Journal of Social Psychology, 38, (1999), pp. 135-156
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI SCP
British Journal of Social Psychology
SubjectBehaviour Change and Well-being
The present study investigates effects of numerical group composition on categorization and individual recall of group members in a name-matching paradigm. Relative group size was independently varied for sex (male minority, equal sex groups, female minority) and academic status (teacher minority, equal academic groups, student minority). The results show that, overall, sex and academic status were used to categorize the stimulus persons, and that the male female categorization was stronger than the student teacher categorization. Furthermore, across the stimulus groups studied (males, females, students, teachers), members of minority groups were (a) categorized to a larger extent than members of majority groups and (b) better individually recalled than members of majority groups. In addition, the overall use of the male female categorization was stronger when the size of the sex groups was equal than it was, on average, when the size of these groups was unequal. The results are discussed in terms of theories about category salience and perception of group members.
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