Effects of stereotypicality and perceived group variability on the use of attitudinal information in impression formation

Bas Verplanken, Jolanda Jetten, Ad Van Knippenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

9 Citations (Scopus)


In line with Susan Fiske and Steven Neuberg's continuum model of impression formation, it was found that when a social category was perceived as homogeneous on a stereotypic trait, a target's behavioral discrepancy from that stereotype elicited attention to and elaboration of individuating information. Individuating information consisted of the target person's attitude toward a stereotype-unrelated issue. Perceived variability was manipulated. Impressions of the stimulus person were related to participants' own attitude toward the issue, suggesting a similarity- attraction effect. In the atypical-behavior/low-variability condition, this relationship was mediated by attitude-related thoughts. This suggests a cognitive-response-mediated similarity - attraction effect leading to relatively individuated impressions. All results were consistent across two different stimulus groups that were associated with complementary stereotypes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)960-971
Number of pages12
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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