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On the context dependence of national stereotypes: some Scottish data

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date12/1997
JournalBritish Journal of Social Psychology
Journal number4
Volume36
Number of pages11
Pages553-563
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This study explores the context dependence of national stereotypes. Scottish subjects stereotyped their own national group in three between-subject conditions: after rating the English, after rating the Greeks, and in isolation (i.e. without explicit reference to any other category). Following the logic of self-categorization theory (Turner, Hogg, Oakes, Reicher & Wetherell, 1987; Turner, Oakes, Haslam & McGarty, 1994), we predicted that the Scottish self-stereotype would depend on the frame of reference created by the experimental manipulations. Further we predicted that changes in the definition of this stereotype would be dimension specific. In other words, stereotype variation was predicted to be contingent upon the relevance of the dimension of judgment for capturing the differences between the Scottish and the category constituting the frame of reference. These predictions were confirmed. As these data were obtained in a context where quite specific predictions about the nature and form of stereotype variation were possible, these data confirm and extend Haslam,Turner, Oakes, McGarty & Hayes' (1992) analysis of the context dependence of stereotypes.