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Social perception refers to the broad tendency of perceivers to note and interpret the appearance, behavior, and intentions of others. Such perception is informed by multiple cues that originate in body features and behaviors, and it affects the perceivers' attitudes about and behaviors directed toward others.

Historically, the phrase social perception meant very different things, depending on a researcher's background. Within the vision and cognitive sciences, for example, social perception research focused heavily on how observers process cues that are diagnostic of social factors (e.g., face perception and biological motion perception). Within social psychology, in contrast, social perception research focused primarily on the implications of perceiving meaningful social categories (e.g., stereotyping and prejudice). Thus, depending on one's research perspective, social perception could mean very different ...

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