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A Research on Low and High Achievers’ Stereotypes Content Toward Their In-group and Out-group on the Basis of Competence and Warmth Dimensions

Timuçin Aktan, Gülden Güvenç
2008; 23(61):27-40

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The aim of the present study was to investigate the stereotypes directed towards academically achieving or under achieving students, in terms of competence and warmth as proposed by Fiske et al. (1999; 2002). The relationships between social structural variables, namely status, competitiveness and stereotype content were also explored. The study was conducted on 321 male and female students (seventh and eighth grade) recruited from Saraycık - Şehitler and Taylan Araslı Primary Schools in Ankara, Sincan. The students of the fi rst school were segregated into different classes based on achievement whereas classes in the second school were mixed. The effects of schools and achievement groups showed that the participants from the Şehitler Primary School did not accept the legitimacy of segregation. Moreover, even though successful students were evaluated as more competent compared to unsuccessful students, there was no signifi cant difference between the two groups in terms of the warmth dimension. On the other hand, subjects from Taylan Araslı Primary School evaluated the distinction as legitimate. While successful students were perceived as more competent, unsuccessful students were evaluated as warmer than the successful group. The group difference in regard to achievement had impact on total scores of participants’ evaluations. Even though unsuccessful students who were against segregation reported no difference between successful and unsuccessful students in relation to competence and warmth, successful students accepted the superiority of their in-group in comparison to the outgroup. The results of the present study supported the relationship between status and competence, as argued by Fiske et al. (2002). However, the relationship between competitiveness and warmth was not signifi cant. In the respective sections, the fi ndings were discussed with respect to relevant literature and suggestions were made for future research.

Keywords: Stereotype content, competence, warmth, status, competition