Two dimensions persist in social cognition when people are making sense of individuals or groups. The stereotype content model (SCM) terms these two basic dimensions perceived warmth (trustworthiness, friendliness) and competence (capability, assertiveness). Measured reliably and validly, these Big Two dimensions converge across survey, cultural, laboratory, and biobehavioral approaches. Generality across place, levels, and time further support the framework. Similar dimensions have emerged repeatedly over the history of psychology and in current theories. The SCM proposes and tests a comprehensive causal theory: Perceived social structure (cooperation, status) predicts stereotypes (warmth, competence), which in turn predict emotional prejudices (pride, pity, contempt, envy), and finally, the emotions predict discrimination (active and passive help and harm). The SCM uncovers systematic content and dynamics of stereotypes, which has practical implications.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Big Two
- social cognition
- stereotype content model