Based on self-categorization theory, group status should be positively related to group prototypicality when the relevant superordinate category is positively valued. In this case, high-status groups should be perceived to be more prototypical than low-status groups even in the absence of concerns about maintaining a positive social identity. To test this hypothesis, a minimal group study was conducted in which participants (N = 139) did not belong to any of the groups involved. Consistent with predictions, participants perceived high-status groups to be significantly more prototypical than low-status groups. Consistent with self-categorization theory's cognitive analysis, these results demonstrate that the relation between group status and group prototypicality is a relatively basic and pervasive effect that does not depend on social identity motives.
The Journal of Social Psychology Vol. 152, Issue 3, p. 386-389
This is an electronic version of an article published in The Journal of Social Psychology Vol. 152, Issue 3, p. 386-389. The Journal of Social Psychology is available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/openurl?genre=article&issn=0022-4545&volume=152&issue=3&spage=386