Stereotype content model across cultures: Towards universal similarities and some differences


  • After the first six authors, the remaining authors are listed alphabetically by the last name of our primary contact at the university.

Correspondence should be addressed to Dr Amy J. C. Cuddy, Harvard Business School, Soldiers Field Road, Boston, MA 02163 USA (e-mail:


The stereotype content model (SCM) proposes potentially universal principles of societal stereotypes and their relation to social structure. Here, the SCM reveals theoretically grounded, cross-cultural, cross-groups similarities and one difference across 10 non-US nations. Seven European (individualist) and three East Asian (collectivist) nations (N=1,028) support three hypothesized cross-cultural similarities: (a) perceived warmth and competence reliably differentiate societal group stereotypes; (b) many out-groups receive ambivalent stereotypes (high on one dimension; low on the other); and (c) high status groups stereotypically are competent, whereas competitive groups stereotypically lack warmth. Data uncover one consequential cross-cultural difference: (d) the more collectivist cultures do not locate reference groups (in-groups and societal prototype groups) in the most positive cluster (high-competence/high-warmth), unlike individualist cultures. This demonstrates out-group derogation without obvious reference-group favouritism. The SCM can serve as a pancultural tool for predicting group stereotypes from structural relations with other groups in society, and comparing across societies.