Communication and essentialism: Grounding the shared reality of a social category

Kashima, Yoshihisa, Kashima, Emiko S., Bain, Paul, Lyons, Anthony, Tindale, R. Scott, Robins, Gary, Vears, Cedric and Whelan, Jennifer (2010) Communication and essentialism: Grounding the shared reality of a social category. Social Cognition, 28 3: 306-328. doi:10.1521/soco.2010.28.3.306

Author Kashima, Yoshihisa
Kashima, Emiko S.
Bain, Paul
Lyons, Anthony
Tindale, R. Scott
Robins, Gary
Vears, Cedric
Whelan, Jennifer
Title Communication and essentialism: Grounding the shared reality of a social category
Journal name Social Cognition   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0278-016X
Publication date 2010
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1521/soco.2010.28.3.306
Volume 28
Issue 3
Start page 306
End page 328
Total pages 23
Place of publication New York, United States
Publisher Guilford Publications
Language eng
Abstract Essentialism is an ontological belief that there exists an underlying essence to a category. This article advances and tests in three studies the hypothesis that communication about a social category, and expected or actual mutual validation, promotes essentialism about a social category. In Study 1, people who wrote communications about a social category to their ingroup audiences essentialized it more strongly than those who simply memorized about it. In Study 2, communicators whose messages about a novel social category were more elaborately discussed with a confederate showed a stronger tendency to essentialize it. In Study 3, communicators who elaborately talked about a social category with a naive conversant also essentialized the social category. A meta-analysis of the results supported the hypothesis that communication promotes essentialism. Although essentialism has been discussed primarily in perceptual and cognitive domains, the role of social processes as its antecedent deserves greater attention.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ
Additional Notes Special Issue: Shared Reality

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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