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Susan T. Fiske & Ann Marie Russell

In: The SAGE Handbook of Prejudice, Stereotyping and Discrimination

Chapter 7: Cognitive Processes

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Cognitive Processes
Cognitive processes

This chapter describes the history, contemporary context, and future of research on cognitive bias, which focuses on stereotypes as beliefs about groups. After early studies measured stereotype contents, Allport (1954) proposed that ordinary cognitive processes, such as categorization, underlie stereotyping. Subsequently, the cognitive miser approach examined how stereotypes provide mental shortcuts, while social identity and self-categorization approaches investigated the relative judgments of ingroup and outgroup categories. Motivated tactician approaches emphasized how goals shift responses between automaticity and control. Current research focuses on subtle biases: automatic (rapid, unconscious, unintentional), ambiguous (based on interpretation, attribution), and ambivalent (mixed valence on perceived warmth and competence dimensions). Threat to self and ingroup exaggerates cognitive biases. Cures rely on information and various motivations (belonging, understanding, controlling, self-enhancing, ...

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