SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Abstract

Participants rated the expected accuracy and stability of ascribed traits for ingroup or outgroup targets. Traits were derived from theoretical models distinguishing between the content dimensions of warmth and competence. Positive and negative warmth and competence traits were paired with either Black or White first names, and participants rated the expected trait accuracy and stability. Positive traits were rated as having more accuracy and stability than were negative traits. Warmth traits were rated as having more accuracy and stability than were competence traits. For negative warmth traits, trait accuracy was rated significantly lower for ingroup than for outgroup targets, but no ingroup–outgroup difference was found for positive warmth traits. For both negative warmth and negative competence traits, trait stability was rated lower for ingroup than for outgroup targets, but no ingroup–outgroup differences were found for positive warmth or competence traits. The present findings support the primacy of positive over negative traits and of warmth over competence traits in estimating the accuracy and stability of trait ratings, but also suggest that trait-relevant expectations differ as a function of group membership. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.