Managing Ambivalent Prejudices: Smart-but-Cold and Warm-but-Dumb Stereotypes

Susan T. Fiske

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Not all biases are equivalent, and not all biases are uniformly negative. Two fundamental dimensions differentiate stereotyped groups in cultures across the globe: status predicts perceived competence, and cooperation predicts perceived warmth. Crossing the competence and warmth dimensions, two combinations produce ambivalent prejudices: pitied groups (often traditional women or older people) appear warm but incompetent, and envied groups (often nontraditional women or outsider entrepreneurs) appear competent but cold. Case studies in ambivalent sexism, heterosexism, racism, anti-immigrant biases, ageism, and classism illustrate both the dynamics and the management of these complex but knowable prejudices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-48
Number of pages16
JournalThe ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Social Sciences


  • age
  • class
  • discrimination
  • gender
  • prejudice
  • race
  • stereotypes


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