Durante, Federica (2008) Testing and extending the Stereotype Content Model. [Ph.D. thesis]
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The stereotype content model (SCM; Fiske, Cuddy, Glick, & Xu, 2002) is, currently, one of the most important theoretical frameworks of intergroup relations, which takes into consideration modern forms of ambivalent stereotype and prejudice. The present work intends to contribute in supporting and extending the model in different ways.
Three empirical studies were realized. The first study is a replication of Study 2 by Fiske, Cuddy, Glick, and Xu (2002). Since, studies testing SCM’s hypotheses in the Italian society do not exist, Study 1 aimed at filling this gap by recruiting a student (N=180) and a non-student (N=41) sample to test the main hypotheses underlying the model. Data were collected using questionnaires. Results widely substantiated the SCM, highlighting new interesting effects, and providing us with a cultural picture of modern Italy.
The second study was an application of the SCM to a specific and culturally salient intergroup relationship: Northern vs. Southern Italians. The study aimed, furthermore, at investigating the role played by social dominance orientation (SDO; Pratto, Sidanius, & Levin, 2006) and ingroup identification (Tajfel, 1981) in the adherence to content of stereotypes. Two student samples were recruited, one from the North (N=183), one from the South of Italy (N=182). Using questionnaires, SCM’s main hypotheses were tested. Results were consistent with the model’s predictions, and reflected the cultural stereotypes of the two groups. However, one interesting inconsistency was found and discussed. Finally, neither SDO nor identification had any impact on the perception of the stereotype content.
Lastly, a set of three empirical studies investigated the possibility that the stereotype dimension of competence may predict status. Linking the SCM with SIT (Social Identity Theory), the role played by ingroup membership in this stereotypeto- social-structure inference was considered. In all three studies the competence of the target groups (Blues and Greens) was manipulated. Groups and group membership were created through minimal group paradigm. Participants evaluated the two minimal groups on items measuring the SCM dimensions. The three studies supported the assumption that competence affects perceptions of status, and that membership does play a role in these inferences.
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