Reference groups and stereotype perception in Colombia

Sergio Barbosa, Willam Jiménez-Leal, Carlos Eduardo Cortes


The objective of this study is to understand the categorization of social groups in Colombia, as well as exploring possible in-group favoritism.  The theoretical framework used is the Stereotype Content Model (SCM), according to which warmth and competence are universal principles that guide social cognition. The study was conducted in two phases. First, a diverse sample of 88 people identified the most relevant groups in Colombian society, which resulted in a list of 16 groups. Second, 210 people rated these groups in dimensions including warmth, competence, status and emotions associated. Results show idiosyncratic particularities of Colombian society, including failure to predict warmth from emotion ratings. These findings highlight difficulties in social group perception in Colombia as well as slight adjustments required for the SCM.


stereotype; discrimination; social perception

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