The spontaneous formation of stereotypes via cumulative cultural evolution

Douglas Martin, Jacqui Hutchison, Gillian Slessor, James Urquhart, Sheila J. Cunningham, Kenny Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

All people share knowledge of cultural stereotypes of social groups—but what are the origins of these stereotypes? We examined whether stereotypes form spontaneously as information is repeatedly passed from person to person. As information about novel social targets was passed down a chain of individuals, what initially began as a set of random associations evolved into a system that was simplified and categorically structured. Over time, novel stereotypes emerged that not only were increasingly learnable but also allowed generalizations to be made about previously unseen social targets. By illuminating how cognitive and social factors influence how stereotypes form and change, these findings show how stereotypes might naturally evolve or be manipulated.
LanguageEnglish
Pages 1777–1786
Number of pages10
JournalPsychological Science
Volume25
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2014

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Martin, D., Hutchison, J., Slessor, G., Urquhart, J., Cunningham, S. J., & Smith, K. (2014). The spontaneous formation of stereotypes via cumulative cultural evolution. Psychological Science, 25(9), 1777–1786. DOI: 10.1177/0956797614541129
Martin, Douglas ; Hutchison, Jacqui ; Slessor, Gillian ; Urquhart, James ; Cunningham, Sheila J. ; Smith, Kenny. / The spontaneous formation of stereotypes via cumulative cultural evolution. In: Psychological Science. 2014 ; Vol. 25, No. 9. pp. 1777–1786
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Martin, D, Hutchison, J, Slessor, G, Urquhart, J, Cunningham, SJ & Smith, K 2014, 'The spontaneous formation of stereotypes via cumulative cultural evolution' Psychological Science, vol 25, no. 9, pp. 1777–1786. DOI: 10.1177/0956797614541129

The spontaneous formation of stereotypes via cumulative cultural evolution. / Martin, Douglas; Hutchison, Jacqui; Slessor, Gillian; Urquhart, James; Cunningham, Sheila J.; Smith, Kenny.

In: Psychological Science, Vol. 25, No. 9, 09.2014, p. 1777–1786.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Martin D, Hutchison J, Slessor G, Urquhart J, Cunningham SJ, Smith K. The spontaneous formation of stereotypes via cumulative cultural evolution. Psychological Science. 2014 Sep;25(9): 1777–1786. Available from, DOI: 10.1177/0956797614541129