A model of (often mixed) stereotype content: competence and warmth respectively follow from perceived status and competition

J Pers Soc Psychol. 2002 Jun;82(6):878-902.


Stereotype research emphasizes systematic processes over seemingly arbitrary contents, but content also may prove systematic. On the basis of stereotypes' intergroup functions, the stereotype content model hypothesizes that (a) 2 primary dimensions are competence and warmth, (b) frequent mixed clusters combine high warmth with low competence (paternalistic) or high competence with low warmth (envious), and (c) distinct emotions (pity, envy, admiration, contempt) differentiate the 4 competence-warmth combinations. Stereotypically, (d) status predicts high competence, and competition predicts low warmth. Nine varied samples rated gender, ethnicity, race, class, age, and disability out-groups. Contrary to antipathy models, 2 dimensions mattered, and many stereotypes were mixed, either pitying (low competence, high warmth subordinates) or envying (high competence, low warmth competitors). Stereotypically, status predicted competence, and competition predicted low warmth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Competitive Behavior / physiology*
  • Empathy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intelligence / physiology*
  • Jealousy
  • Male
  • Models, Psychological*
  • Paternalism
  • Social Class*
  • Social Perception*
  • Stereotyping*
  • Students / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires