Accuracy of National Stereotypes in Central Europe: Outgroups Are Not Better than Ingroup in Considering Personality Traits of Real People

Authors

  • Martina HŘebÍČková,

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute of Psychology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Czech Republic
    • Correspondence to: Martina Hřebíčková, Institute of Psychology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Veveří 97, 602 00 Brno, Czech Republic.

      E-mail: martina@psu.cas.cz

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  • Sylvie Graf

    1. Institute of Psychology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Czech Republic
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Abstract

In a study on national stereotypes in central Europe—composed of Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland and Slovakia—2241 participants rated their autostereotype (a typical representative of their own country) and heterostereotypes (typical representatives of the other countries) by using National Character Survey (NCS). Existing data from 17377 participants including self-reports or observer ratings on Revised NEO Personality Inventory and NCS were compared with the national autostereotypes and heterostereotypes. Although national autostereotypes converged with personality traits of real people in Poland and an adult subsample in the Czech Republic, national heterostereotypes did not correspond to personality traits of real people in any of the studied countries. National stereotypes were shared within as well as across countries. In heterostereotypes, raters from similar cultural backgrounds speaking similar languages agreed better as compared with raters from more distant cultures. Target country played a role in agreement of raters from different countries, showed in the highest convergence between autostereotypes and heterostereotypes of a typical German. Sharing of national stereotypes is influenced by political and economic significance of the target country. Although national autostereotypes clearly differentiated between typical representatives of central European countries, the comparison of personality profiles of their inhabitants showed remarkable resemblance. Copyright © 2013 European Association of Personality Psychology.

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