Categorizing the neighbors: Identity, distance, and stereotyping

Nick Hopkins, Christopher Moore

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    15 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper reports a field study conducted in Scotland. Participants from one Scottish town stereotyped those from their own town and from another 30 miles away in England. These stereotypes were elicited in three conditions: after stereotyping the English and the Scottish; after stereotyping the Germans and the British; without any explicit reference to national categories We predicted that the act of national stereotyping would have implications for the perception of intertown similarity and the residents' stereotyping; this was confirmed. Relative to the control condition, the two towns' inhabitants were seen as more similar when the inclusive "British" identity was invoked and as less similar when the more exclusive "English"/"Scottish" identities were invoked. Furthermore, the adjectives selected as town-defining, and the differential applicability of these adjectives to the two towns, were affected. We discuss these data in relation to the literature on the relativity of similarity/difference judgments and the context dependence of stereotypes, and in relation to the literature on national identity, especially the "nationalization" of self and other perception.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)239-252
    Number of pages14
    JournalSocial Psychology Quarterly
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2001


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