University of Pittsburgh

Psychology 2135: Social Perception and Cognition

Spring 2000

Carey S. Ryan
434C Langley

This course provides an overview of theory and research in the area of social perception and cognition. We will read and discuss a variety of papers that cover classic issues as well as current developments in the field.

Approximately three-four papers from the social perception and cognition literature will be assigned each week. In addition, there will usually be a chapter assigned from the Kunda book. Students are expected to complete the readings prior to class so that they are prepared to discuss relevant theoretical and methodological issues. To facilitate a more interesting and thoughtful discussion of the readings, students are required to e-mail their comments on the readings to all members of the class by 8am each Tuesday. These comments are meant to stimulate class discussions and thus cannot merely be summaries of the papers. As you read each paper, think critically about the ideas and their theoretical bases, the methodology that is used, the implications of the research findings, and the paper's relationship to other work. Comments should be no more than one page. However, that one page should include comments concerning all of the assigned readings.

A final paper is due no later than April 17 (Note: April 17 is a Friday). An outline of the paper and a complete reference list are due no later than February 29. The paper should include a critical review of the literature concerning a specific topic from the social cognition literature followed by a proposal of one or more experiments/studies concerning that topic. These studies need not be entirely limited by such practical issues as time and financial support, unless you are proposing a study that you hope to conduct in the near future. The studies should, however, be ones that a researcher with funding would be reasonably able to conduct. The paper should be typed using APA style and be no more than 20-25 pages in length (excluding references). Students will present their papers during our last two sessions.

Grades will be based on class participation (i.e., e-mail comments and participation in class discussions), paper presentation, and the final paper (including submission of the outline and reference list as noted above).

Schedule of Topics

Jan. 11 Overview and Introduction
Jan. 18 Mental Representations of Social Knowledge
Jan. 25 Heuristics
Feb. 1 Social-Cognitive Basis of Stereotyping and Prejudice: Classic Papers
Feb. 8 The Self
Feb. 15 Stereotype Development
Feb. 22 Memory
Feb. 29 Stereotype Change
Mar. 14 Accuracy of Social Perceptions
Mar. 21 Automatic Processes
Mar. 28 Automatic Processes
Apr. 4 Cognition and Behavior
Apr. 11 Hot Cognition
Apr. 18 Student Presentations
Apr. 25 Student Presentations


  • Kunda, Z. (1999). Social cognition: Making sense of people. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.


Overview and Introduction

  • Kunda, Introduction
  • Holyoak, K. J., & Gordon, P. C. (1984). Information processing and social cognition. In R. S. Wyer & T. K. Srull (Eds.), Handbook of social cognition. (Vol. 1, pp. 39-71). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
  • Ostrom, T. M. (1984). The sovereignty of social cognition. In R. S. Wyer, Jr., & T. K. Srull (Eds.), Handbook of social cognition. (Vol. 1, pp. 1-38).
  • Srull, T. K. (1984). Methodological techniques for the study of person memory and social cognition. In R. S. Wyer, Jr. & T. K. Srull (Eds.), Handbook of social cognition: Vol. 2. (pp. 1-72). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Mental Representations of Social Knowledge

  • Kunda, Chapter 2
  • Carlston, D. E., & Smith, E. R. (1996). Principles of mental representations. In E. T. Higgins & A. W. Kruglanski (Eds.), Social psychology: Handbook of basic principles (pp. 184-210). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
  • Park, B., & Rothbart, M. (1982). Perception of out-group homogeneity and levels of social categorization: Memory for the subordinate attributes of in-group and out-group members. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 42, 1051-1068.
  • Park, B., Ryan, C. S., & Judd, C. M. (1992). Role of meaningful subgroups in explaining differences in perceived variability for in-groups and out-groups. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 63, 553-567.
  • Linville, P. W., Fischer, G. W., & Yoon, C. (1996). Perceived covariation among the features of ingroup and outgroup members: The outgroup covariation effect. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70, 421-436.


  • Kunda, Chapter 3
  • Tversky, A., & Kahneman, D. (1974). Judgment under uncertainty: Heuristics and biases. Science, 185, 1124-1131.
  • Kahneman, D., & Tversky, A. (1996). On the reality of cognitive illusions. Psychological Review, 103, 582-591.
  • Rothbart, M., Fulero, S., Jensen, C., Howard, J., & Birrell, P. (1978). From individual to group impressions: Availability heuristics in stereotype formation. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 14, 237-255.
  • Locksley, A., Hepburn, C., & Ortiz, V. (1982). Social stereotypes and judgments of individuals: An instance of the base-rate fallacy. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 18, 23-42.

Social-Cognitive Basis of Stereotyping and Prejudice: Classic Papers

  • Kunda, Chapter 8
  • Allport, G. W. (1954). The nature of prejudice. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley. Chapters 2 and 10 entitled "The Normality of Prejudgment" and "The Cognitive Process."
  • Tajfel, H. (1969). Cognitive aspects of prejudice. Journal of Social Issues, 25, 79-97.
  • Tajfel, H., & Turner, J. C. (1986). The social identity theory of intergroup behavior. In S. Worchel & W. G. Austin (Eds.), Psychology of intergroup relations (pp. 7-24). Chicago: Nelson-Hall.
  • Dovidio, J. F., Evans, N., & Tyler, R. B. (1986). Racial stereotypes: The contents of their cognitive representations. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 22, 22-37.

The Self

  • Kunda, Chapter 10
  • Andersen, S. M., Glassman, N. S., Gold, D. A. (1998). Mental representations of the self, significant others, and nonsignificant others: Structure and processing of private and public aspects. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 75, 845-861.
  • Turner, J. C. (1987). A self-categorization theory. In J. C. Turner, M. A. Hogg, P. H. Oakes, S. D. Reicher, & M. S. Wetherell, Rediscovering the social group: A self-categorization theory (pp. 42-67). Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Abrams, D., & Hogg, M. A. (1990). Social identification, self-categorization and social influence. In W. Stroebe & M. Hewstone (Eds.), European Review of Social Psychology (vol. 1, pp. 195-228).

Stereotype Development

  • Park, B., & Hastie, R. (1987). The perception of variability in category development: Instance- versus abstraction-based stereotypes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 53, 621-635.
  • Mackie, D., Hamilton, D. L., Susskind, J., & Rosselli, F. (1996). Social psychological foundations of stereotype formation. In C. N. Macrae, C. Stangor, & M. Hewstone (Eds.) Stereotypes and stereotyping (pp. 41-78). New York: Guilford.
  • Sherman, J. W. (1996). Development and mental representations of stereotypes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70, 1126-1141.
  • Ryan, C. S., & Bogart, L. M. (1997). Development of new group members' in-group and out-group stereotypes: Changes in perceived group variability and ethnocentrism. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 73, 719-732.


  • Kunda, Chapter 5
  • Hastie, R., & Park, B. (1986). The relationship between memory and judgment depends on whether the judgment task is memory-based or on-line. Psychological Review, 93, 258-268.
  • Srull, T. K., & Wyer, R. S., Jr. (1989). Person memory and judgment. Psychological Review, 96, 58-83.
  • Stangor, C., & McMillan, D. (1992). Memory for expectancy-congruent and expectancy-incongruent information: A review of the social and social developmental literatures. Psychological Bulletin, 111, 42-61.

Stereotype Change

  • Rothbart, M., & John, O. P. (1985). Social categorization and behavioral episodes: A cognitive analysis of the effects of intergroup contact. Journal of Social Issues, 41, 81-104.
  • Hewstone, M., Macrae, C. N., Griffiths, R., Milne, A. B., & Brown, R. (1994). Cognitive models of stereotype change: (5). Measurement, development, and consequences of subtyping. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 30, 505-526.
  • Anastasio, P., Bachman, B., Gaertner, S., & Dovidio, J. (1997). Categorization, recategorization and common ingroup identity. In R. Spears, P. J. Oakes, N. Ellemers, & S. A. Haslam (Eds.), The social psychology of stereotyping and group life (pp. 236-256). Oxford, UK: Blackwell.
  • Yzerbyt, V. Y., Coull, A., & Rocher, S. J. (1999). Fencing off the deviant: The role of cognitive resources in the maintenance of stereotypes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 77, 449-462.
  • Garcia-Marques, L., & Mackie, D. M. (1999). The impact of stereotype-incongruent information on perceived group variability and stereotype change. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 77, 979-990.

Accuracy of Social Perceptions

  • Kunda, Chapter 9
  • Judd, C. M., & Park, B. (1993). Definition and assessment of accuracy in social stereotypes. Psychological Review, 100, 109-128.
  • Ryan, C. S. (1996). Accuracy of black and white college students' in-group and out-group stereotypes. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 22, 1114-1127.
  • Corneille, O., & Judd, C. M. (1999). Accentuation and sensitization effects in the categorization of multifaceted stimuli. Journal of Personality and social Psychology, 77, 927-941.

Automatic Processes

  • Kunda, Chapter 7
  • Devine, P. G. (1989). Stereotypes and prejudice: Their automatic and controlled components. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 56, 5-18.
  • Greenwald, A. G. (1992). New look 3: Unconscious cognition reclaimed. American Psychologist, 47, 766-779.
  • Greenwald, A., & Banaji, M. (1995). Implicit social cognition: Attitudes, self-esteem, and stereotypes. Psychological Review, 102, 4-27.

Automatic Processes

  • Blair, I. V., & Banaji, M. R. (1996). Automatic and controlled processes in stereotype priming. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70, 1142-1163.
  • Dovidio, J. F., Kawakami, K., Johnson, C., Johnson, B., & Howard, A. (1997). On the nature of prejudice: Automatic and controlled processes. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 5, 510-540.
  • Wittenbrink, B., Judd, C. M., & Park, B. (1997). Evidence for racial prejudice at the implicit level and its relationship with questionnaire measures. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 72, 262-274.
  • Fazio, R. H., Jackson, J. R., Dunton, B. C., & Williams, C. J. (1995). Variability in automatic activation as an unobtrusive measure of racial attitudes: A bona fide pipeline? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69, 1013-1027.

Cognition and Behavior

  • Kunda, Chapter 4
  • Zuckerman, M., Knee, C. R., Hodgins, H. S., & Miyake, K. (1995). Hypothesis confirmation: The joint effect of positive test strategy and acquiescence response set. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 68, 52-60.
  • Ryan, C. S., Bogart, L. M., & Vender, J. P. (2000). Effects of perceived group variability on the gathering of information about individual group members. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.
  • Biernat, M., Crandall, C. S., Young, L. V., Kobrynowics, D., & Halpin, S. M. (1998). All that you can be: Stereotyping of self and others in a military context. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 75, 301-317.

Hot Cognition

  • Kunda, Chapter 6
  • Hess, U., & Kleck, R. E. (1994). The cues decoders use in attempting to differentiate emotion-elicited and posed facial expressions. European Journal of Social Psychology, 24, 367-381.
  • Hess, U., Banse, R., Kappas, A. (1995). The intensity of facial expression is determined by underlying affective state and social situation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69, 280-288.
  • Carroll, J. M., & Russell, J. A. (1996). Do facial expressions signal specific emotions? Judging emotion from the face in context. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70, 205-218.