Social psychologists possess considerable enthusiasm and expertise in the study of stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination, having commenced in the 1920s and 1930s. Research and theory in the next three to four decades focused on motivation, followed by a reactively exclusive focus on cognition in the 1970s and early 1980s, in turn followed by a 1990s joint focus on cognition and motivation. Throughout, intra-individual conflict analyses have alternated with contextual analyses, though both clearly have merit. Based on a social evolutionary viewpoint, a few core social motives (belonging, understanding, controlling, enhancing, and trusting) account for much current research on interpersonal category-based responses. Trends for the future should entail more emphasis on behavior, more sensitivity to cultural specificities and universals, as well as budding efforts on neural mechanisms of stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination. Copyright © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.