Who exhibits more stereotypical thinking? The effect of need and ability to achieve cognitive structure on stereotyping
Article first published online: 17 MAY 2002
Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
European Journal of Personality
Volume 16, Issue 4, pages 313–331, July/August 2002
How to Cite
Bar-Tal, Y. and Guinote, A. (2002), Who exhibits more stereotypical thinking? The effect of need and ability to achieve cognitive structure on stereotyping. Eur. J. Pers., 16: 313–331. doi: 10.1002/per.453
- Issue published online: 29 JUL 2002
- Article first published online: 17 MAY 2002
- Manuscript Accepted: 1 FEB 2002
- Manuscript Received: 8 JUN 2001
- Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia. Grant Number: 16376/98
Need for cognitive structure (NCS) could affect stereotypical thinking. In the present paper, it is suggested that the effect of NCS on stereotyping is moderated by the ability to achieve cognitive structure (AACS). NCS is defined as the preference to use cognitive structuring (versus piecemeal processing) as a way to achieve certainty. AACS is defined as the extent to which individuals are able to use information processing processes (cognitive structuring or piecemeal) consistent with their level of NCS. Two studies were conducted to examine this hypothesis. The first examined the effect of NCS and AACS on negative stereotypes held by Israelis towards Palestinians. The second examined the effect of NCS and AACS on perceived in-group (psychology students) and out-group (engineering students) variability. Results of both studies showed that for high-AACS participants, higher NCS was associated with greater stereotypical thinking, whereas for low-AACS participants, higher NCS was associated with less stereotyping. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.