Warmth and competence in your face! Visual encoding of stereotype content
- 1Department Psychology, Social Psychology, Social Cognition, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
- 2Social and Legal Psychology, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany
- 3Social and Cultural Psychology, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, Netherlands
Previous research suggests that stereotypes about a group's warmth bias our visual representation of group members. Based on the stereotype content model (SCM) the current research explored whether the second big dimension of social perception, competence, is also reflected in visual stereotypes. To test this, participants created typical faces for groups either high in warmth and low in competence (male nursery teachers) or vice versa (managers) in a reverse correlation image classification task, which allows for the visualization of stereotypes without any a priori assumptions about relevant dimensions. In support of the independent encoding of both SCM dimensions hypotheses-blind raters judged the resulting visualizations of nursery teachers as warmer but less competent than the resulting image for managers, even when statistically controlling for judgments on one dimension. People thus seem to use facial cues indicating both relevant dimensions to make sense of social groups in a parsimonious, non-verbal and spontaneous manner.
Keywords: stereotypes content model, warmth, competence, reverse correlation, faces, visual representations
Citation: Imhoff R, Woelki J, Hanke S and Dotsch R (2013) Warmth and competence in your face! Visual encoding of stereotype content. Front. Psychol. 4:386. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00386
Received: 11 April 2013; Paper pending published: 20 May 2013;
Accepted: 10 June 2013; Published online: 28 June 2013.
Copyright © 2013 Imhoff, Woelki, Hanke and Dotsch. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited and subject to any copyright notices concerning any third-party graphics etc.
*Correspondence: Roland Imhoff, Department Psychologie, Sozialpsychologie, Social Cognition, University of Cologne, Richard-Strauss-Str. 2, 50931 Köln, Germany e-mail: email@example.com