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Basic Social Category

Categories such as age, race, gender, for which perceivers have a wealth of information available in memory.


The process of simplifying our environment by creating categories on the basis of characteristics (such as hair color or athletic ability) that a particular set of people appear to have in common.

Category Constancy

An understanding that a person's membership in a social category, such as gender or race, does not change across time or as a matter of superficial changes in appearance.


The proposition that when group members view themselves in terms of the (usually positive) stereotypes they have of their group, the self becomes one with the group and the positive view of the group is reflected in a positive view of the self.

Stereotype Activation

The extent to which a stereotype is accessible in one's mind.

Stereotype Application

The extent to which one uses a stereotype to judge a member of the stereotyped group.

Stereotype Endorsement

The extent to which a person agrees with the social stereotype of a group.

Stereotype Threat

The proposition that stigmatized group members are aware that they are stereotyped and that, especially in achievement settings, they fear confirming those stereotypes.


Categories that are subordinate to the more basic categories of sex, race, and age

Source: Whitley, B. E. Jr. & Kite, M. E (2010). The Psychology of Prejudice and Discrimination. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth