Selective Self-Stereotyping

Monica Biernat, Theresa K. Vescio, Michelle L. Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations


In an examination of group members' responses to the threat of negative in-group characterizations, sorority/fraternity members were asked to rate themselves, their own sorority/fraternity, sororities/ fraternities in general, and students in general on attributes that were stereotypic of sororities/ fraternities. Results showed that individuals selectively self-stereotyped - they embraced positive stereotypes as highly descriptive of themselves and their closest in-groups but rejected negative stereotypes. They did not, however, deny that negative stereotypes were accurate or valid - they continued to accept them as typical of sororities/fraternities in general. This represents a protective, creative response to the threat posed by exposure to negative group attributes, in which self-stereotyping as a result of self-categorization is selective rather than complete.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1194-1209
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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