Another fundamental social category? Spontaneous categorization of people who uphold or violate moral norms

Florian van Leeuwen*, Justin H. Park, Ian S. Penton-Voak

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Studies of social categorization have shown that humans robustly categorize others along dimensions of sex, age, kinship, and coalition. Drawing on a functional perspective, we predicted that humans should also categorize others along the dimension of morality (i.e.. violating vs. upholding moral norms). In a study employing the memory confusion paradigm, university undergraduate participants (N = 39) were presented with same-sex targets randomly matched with sentences indicating violation or upholding of moral norms, and with sentences indicating competence or incompetence. Results showed that participants spontaneously categorized along morality but not along competence, suggesting that morality (beyond general valence) may be an important dimension of social categorization. (C) 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1385-1388
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Volume48
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Fundamental categories
  • Memory confusion paradigm
  • Morality
  • Social categorization
  • IMPRESSION-FORMATION
  • PERSON MEMORY
  • COGNITION
  • OTHERS
  • RACE

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