• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Categorization in Social Psychology offers a major introduction to the study of categorization, looking especially at links between categorization in cognitive and social psychology. In a highly readable and accessible style, the author covers all the main approaches to categorization in social psychology that a student might come across, including: biased stimulus processing, construct actviation, self-categorization, explanation-based, social judgeability and assimilation//contrast approaches. It is a wide-ranging and up-to-date treatment of concepts from cognitive as well as social psychology.

Categorization, Covariation and Causal Explanation
Categorization, covariation and causal explanation

Bruner (1957) and others have argued that categorization is a sense-making process, but it seems difficult to understand what this means unless we equate ‘making sense of’ with ‘explaining”. The process of explanation has been widely held to depend on covariation too. The argument explored in this chapter therefore lies in answering the following double-barrelled question: do categorization and explanation both rest on the perception of covariation because categorization and explanation are really the same thing?

This answer to this question rests upon developments in cognitive and social psychology in relation to the process of covariation. I address these developments here. The first step in this chapter is to ask: if we take the idea that categorizations ...

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