Journal article

Psychological essentialism and attention allocation: Preferences for stereotype-consistent versus stereotype-inconsistent information

Brock Bastian, Nick Haslam

JOURNAL OF SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY | HELDREF PUBLICATIONS | Published : 2007

Abstract

People who believe that human attributes are immutable (entity theorists) display preferences for stereotype-consistent over stereotype-inconsistent information (J. E. Plaks, S. J. Stroessner, C. S. Dweck, & J. W. Sherman, 2001). In this article, the authors argue that entity theories are components of broader sets of beliefs that represent differences between people in terms of underlying essences. Consistent with expectations, the authors found that measures of essentialist beliefs (i.e., in the biological basis, discreteness, informativeness, and inherence of human attributes) covaried with the presence of entity theories. Essentialist beliefs as a set were related to stronger preferences..

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