Social representations are the shared beliefs, values, attitudes, and knowledge that individuals within a social group or society collectively construct and use to make sense of their social world.


Social representations provide individuals with a framework for understanding and interpreting their social reality. They shape perceptions, guide behavior, and influence interpersonal interactions. These representations are constructed and maintained through social communication, including language, media, and other cultural practices.


  • Shared: Social representations are not individual cognitive structures, but rather collective and shared among members of a specific social group or community.
  • Constructed: They are not innate, but emerge through social interaction and dialogue within a given cultural and historical context.
  • Dynamic: Social representations are subject to change and transformation over time as new information and experiences shape the collective understanding of the social world.
  • Functional: They serve as cognitive tools that help individuals navigate their social environment, interpret events, and make sense of their experiences.
  • Integrative: Social representations merge different aspects of knowledge, beliefs, and values into a coherent framework, bridging individual and collective understandings.


Examples of social representations include cultural norms, gender roles, stereotypes, social identities, and shared knowledge about specific social issues or events. These representations play a crucial role in shaping individual and collective behavior within a society.


Social representations contribute to the social construction of reality, as they influence the way individuals perceive, interpret, and respond to social phenomena. They provide a collective understanding that helps maintain social cohesion, guide behavior, and facilitate communication within a social group or society.