Cross-categorization and its influence on stereotyping
YAN Lei1; ZUO Bin2; ZHANG Yanhong1; WU Yang3; YANG Linchuan4
(1 School of Education, Yangtze University, Jingzhou 434023, China) (2 School of Psychology, Central China Normal University, Wuhan 430079, China) (3 School of Marxism, Huazhong University of Science and Technology,Wuhan 430074, China) (4 Research Institute of Higher Education, China Three Gorges University, Yichang 443002, China)
Abstract： During social categorization, a critical cognitive process that serves as the basis for group cognition and impression evaluation, a very specific type of categorization, or Cross-categorization, may arise, in which two or more social categories/dimensions of targets are simultaneously salient for participants, forming intersections of ingroups and outgroups across multiple categories. Research examining whether cross-categorization decreases or increases stereotyping shows conflicting results. Theoretical explanation from a categorization perspective emphasizes the effect of group membership and identification, whereas an individualization perspective highlights a “de-categorization” process in the multiple-category context. The limitations of existing research are the failure to reach an agreement about how to understand and investigate the conflicting results and to recognize the significance of stereotypes for an individual’s cognition and identification process. Future research should focus on the motivations and cognitive processes critical to the categorization perspective, the dominant category and processing styles under the individualized perspective, as well as the potential of a theoretical integration based on self-categorization process.