Universal dimensions of social cognition: warmth and competence

Susan Tufts Fiske, Amy J.C. Cuddy, Peter Glick

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

1640 Scopus citations

Abstract

Like all perception, social perception reflects evolutionary pressures. In encounters with conspecifics, social animals must determine, immediately, whether the 'other' is friend or foe (i.e. intends good or ill) and, then, whether the 'other' has the ability to enact those intentions. New data confirm these two universal dimensions of social cognition: warmth and competence. Promoting survival, these dimensions provide fundamental social structural answers about competition and status. People perceived as warm and competent elicit uniformly positive emotions and behavior, whereas those perceived as lacking warmth and competence elicit uniform negativity. People classified as high on one dimension and low on the other elicit predictable, ambivalent affective and behavioral reactions. These universal dimensions explain both interpersonal and intergroup social cognition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-83
Number of pages7
JournalTrends in Cognitive Sciences
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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