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Perceived Group Variability

Stereotypes are beliefs about the attributes of social categories or groups that potentially affect how the perceiver judges and behaves toward individual group members. They concern the attributes that are typically associated with a social group. But perceivers differ in the degree to which they assume that all group members resemble each other. Accordingly, the perceived variability of a group captures the degree to which stereotypes about that group are strong and, accordingly, the degree to which group stereotypes influence judgments of and behavior toward members of that group. If a group is perceived as relatively low in variability, then the social perceiver will expect all members of that group with whom he or she interacts to closely fit the stereotype of the group. ...

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