Social Categorization:

Social Categorization refers to the cognitive process through which individuals classify people into various social groups based on shared characteristics such as race, gender, age, or occupation. This classification enables individuals to simplify and understand complex social environments by grouping individuals into distinct categories or stereotypes.

Subtypes of Social Categorization:

  • Automatic Categorization: Automatic categorization occurs when individuals unconsciously and quickly assign others to social groups based on visible cues or schemas. This process is often driven by stereotypes and can influence individuals’ behavior and perceptions.
  • Out-group Homogeneity: Out-group homogeneity is the tendency for individuals to perceive members of an out-group as more similar to each other than members of their own in-group. This leads to oversimplified and generalized perceptions of out-group members.
  • In-group Favoritism: In-group favoritism refers to the tendency for individuals to favor and show preference towards members of their own social group or in-group. This bias can lead to discrimination, prejudice, and the formation of social barriers between different groups.
  • Social Identity Theory: Social identity theory suggests that individuals derive part of their self-concept from their membership in various social groups. This theory explains how social categorization influences intergroup behavior, intergroup conflict, and the formation of social identities.
  • Implicit Bias: Implicit bias refers to the subconscious attitudes or stereotypes individuals hold towards certain social groups. These biases can influence individuals’ thoughts, actions, and decision-making processes, often without their conscious awareness.