As proponents of two theories of social evaluation, we disagree whether people spontaneously differentiate societal groups' conservative-progressive beliefs (distinct claim of the agency-beliefs-communion or ABC model) or warmth/communion (distinct claim of the stereotype content model or SCM). Our adversarial collaboration provides one way to resolve this debate. Examining people from four continents who differentiated groups in their country (N = 2356), we found lower consensus on groups' warmth/communion compared to agency/~competence and beliefs (Studies 1–4). Consensus on groups' warmth/communion was lower because people differed in self-rated agency and beliefs, and they inferred groups' warmth/communion from perceived similarity in agency and beliefs between the groups and the self (Studies 5–8). Previous ABC studies only examined consensual differentiation of groups and thereby did not find evidence for spontaneous differentiation of groups' warmth/communion. Instead, we next examined non-consensual (personal) differentiation of groups: People spontaneously differentiated groups by their agency/~competence, beliefs, and also warmth/communion (Studies 7 and 8). Based on these data, the ABC model and SCM concede that people spontaneously differentiate groups' warmth/communion and beliefs, respectively, providing one way to resolve the models' debate.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science