Structure learning principles of stereotype change

TitleStructure learning principles of stereotype change
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsGershman, SJ, Cikara, M
JournalPsychonomic Bulletin & Review
Pagination1273 - 1293
Date Published03/2023

Why, when, and how do stereotypes change? This paper develops a computational account based on the principles of structure learning: stereotypes are governed by probabilistic beliefs about the assignment of individuals to groups. Two aspects of this account are particularly important. First, groups are flexibly constructed based on the distribution of traits across individuals; groups are not fixed, nor are they assumed to map on to categories we have to provide to the model. This allows the model to explain the phenomena of group discovery and subtyping, whereby deviant individuals are segregated from a group, thus protecting the group’s stereotype. Second, groups are hierarchically structured, such that groups can be nested. This allows the model to explain the phenomenon of subgrouping, whereby a collection of deviant individuals is organized into a refinement of the superordinate group. The structure learning account also sheds light on several factors that determine stereotype change, including perceived group variability, individual typicality, cognitive load, and sample size.

Short TitlePsychon Bull Rev

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