Learning to Individuate versus Categorize People: The Role of Attention in Social Learning
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Universidad de Granada
DirectorLupiáñez Castillo, Juan
DepartamentoUniversidad de Granada. Programa de Doctorado en Psicología
Psicología socialInteracción de grupos
Telga, Maïka. Learning to Individuate versus Categorize People: The Role of Attention in Social Learning. Granada: Universidad de Granada, 2020. [http://hdl.handle.net/10481/58821]
SponsorshipTesis Univ. Granada.
Faces are essential stimuli in social perception, as they comprise a wealth of information regarding a person’s individual identity, social category, emotional state, gaze, and so on (Hugenberg & Wilson, 2013). This information is readily encoded at early stages of face processing, and further integrated to make sense of others. The information extracted from faces substantially influences impression formation processes, especially at zero acquaintance, when nothing is known about the target. However, all faces are not equally attended and the strategies used to form impressions of others lie on a continuum stretching from social categorization to individuation (Fiske & Neuberg, 1990). Social categorization consists of using information diagnostic of a person’s social category to make inferences about him or her. For instance, skin color, lips shape or hair texture are informative of a person’s race. Once these features have been encoded, the target person is classified in a social category and the knowledge associated with this category, based for instance on ethnic stereotypes, is used to make inferences about this particular individual. This strategy allows perceivers to integrate and organize efficiently the diversity of information that may be extracted from social stimuli. Because of its remarkable resources-saving function, social categorization is the default strategy to make sense of others (Macrae & Bodenhausen, 2000).