Affective and cognitive orientations in group perception

Lukas J. Wolf, Ulrich von Hecker, Gregory R. Maio

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Three studies examined the role of Need for Affect (NFA) and Need for Cognition (NFC) in intergroup perception. We hypothesized that NFA predicts a preference for stereotypically warm groups over stereotypically cold groups, whereas NFC predicts a preference for stereotypically competent groups over stereotypically incompetent groups. Study 1 supported these hypotheses for attitudes toward stereotypically ambivalent groups, which are stereotyped as high on one of the trait dimensions (e.g., high warmth) and low on the other (e.g., low competence), but not for stereotypically univalent groups, which are seen as high or low on both dimensions. Studies 2 and 3 replicated this pattern for stereotypically ambivalent groups, and yielded provocative evidence regarding several putative mechanisms underlying these associations. Together, these findings help integrate and extend past evidence on attitude-relevant individual differences with research on intergroup perception.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)828-844
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 22 Apr 2017


  • need for affect
  • need for cognition
  • stereotypes
  • intergroup perception
  • prejudice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Social Psychology


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