Social Perception and Cognition
This chapter outlines processes of social perception and attribution that are not only the basis of the contemporary social issue, but are also ubiquitous in human daily lives and experiences. In the decades since Rosenberg's mental map was published, social psychologists have worked to refine the dimensions and test impression formation across different cultures and groups. Social psychologists use the term schema to denote a well-organized structure of cognitions about a specific social entity such as a person, group, role, or event. Schemas usually include information about an entity's attributes and about its relations with other entities. Stereotypes indicate the attributes and behaviors considered typical of members of the group or social category. In American society, many widely known stereotypes pertain to ethnic, racial, and gender groups. One of the most consistent findings on stereotypes is that many people believe men and women have different personality traits.