A 32-society investigation of the influence of perceived economic inequality on social class stereotyping

Tanjitpiyanond, Porntida and Jetten, Jolanda and Peters, Kim and Ashokkumar, Ashwini and Barry, Oumar and Billet, Matthew and Becker, Maja and Booth, Robert and Castro, Diego and Chinchilla, Juana and Costantini, Giulio and Dejonckheere, Egon and Dimdins, Girts and Erbas, Yasemin and Espinosa, Agustín and Finchilescu, Gillian and Gómez, Ángel and González, Roberto and Goto, Nobuhiko and Hatano, Aya and Hartwich, Lea and Jarukasemthawee, Somboon and Karunagharan, Jaya Kumar and Novak, Lindsay M. and Kim, Jinseok P. and Kohút, Michal and Liu, Yi and Loughnan, Steve and Onyishi, Ike E. and Onyishi, Charity N. and Varela, Micaela and Pattara-angkoon, Iris S. and Peker, Müjde and Pisitsungkagarn, Kullaya and Rizwan, Muhammad and Suh, Eunkook M. and Swann, William and Tong, Eddie M. W. and Turner, Rhiannon N. and Vanhasbroeck, Niels and Van Lange, Paul A. M. and Vauclair, Christin Melanie and Vinogradov, Alexander and Wacera, Grace and Wang, Zhechen and Wibisono, Susilo and Yeung, Victoria Wai Lan (2023) A 32-society investigation of the influence of perceived economic inequality on social class stereotyping. European Journal of Social Psychology, 53 (2). pp. 367-382. ISSN 0046-2772 (Print) 1099-0992 (Online)

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There is a growing body of work suggesting that social class stereotypes are amplified when people perceive higher levels of economic inequality—that is, the wealthy are perceived as more competent and assertive and the poor as more incompetent and unassertive. The present study tested this prediction in 32 societies and also examines the role of wealth-based categorization in explaining this relationship. We found that people who perceived higher economic inequality were indeed more likely to consider wealth as a meaningful basis for categorization. Unexpectedly, however, higher levels of perceived inequality were associated with perceiving the wealthy as less competent and assertive and the poor as more competent and assertive. Unpacking this further, exploratory analyses showed that the observed tendency to stereotype the wealthy negatively only emerged in societies with lower social mobility and democracy and higher corruption. This points to the importance of understanding how socio-structural features that co-occur with economic inequality may shape perceptions of the wealthy and the poor.
Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: cross-culture; economic inequality; social class; stereotyping
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Depositing User: Robert Booth
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2023 15:33
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2023 15:33
URI: https://research.sabanciuniv.edu/id/eprint/45175

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