Warmth and competence in animals

Verónica Sevillano, Susan T. Fiske

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Social-perception dimensions may explain human-animal relationships because animals show intent toward humans (social perception's warmth dimension) and, consequently, their potential effect on humans is relevant (competence dimension). After reviewing current literature about perceptions of animals' ascribed intentions and abilities, three studies tested the Stereotype Content Model (SCM) (Fiske, Cuddy, Glick, & Xu, 2002) and the Behaviors from Intergroup Affect and Stereotypes Map (Cuddy, Fiske, & Glick, 2007) regarding animal targets. Study 1 found a four-cluster SCM structure. Warmth and competence judgments predicted specific emotions and behavioral tendencies toward animals (Study 2). Study 3 supported associations between animals and social groups based on their respective perceived warmth and competence. Taken together, results showed the relevance of SCM dimensions for social perception of animals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)276-293
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology


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