1932

Abstract

Social categorization is a universal mechanism for making sense of a vast social world with roots in perceptual, conceptual, and social systems. These systems emerge strikingly early in life and undergo important developmental changes across childhood. The development of social categorization entails identifying which ways of classifying people are culturally meaningful, how these categories might be used to predict, explain, and evaluate the behavior of other people, and how one's own identity relates to these systems of categorization and representation. Social categorization can help children simplify and understand their social environment but has detrimental consequences in the forms of stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination. Thus, understanding how social categorization develops is a central problem for the cognitive, social, and developmental sciences. This review details the multiple developmental processes that underlie this core psychological capacity.

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2019-12-24
2024-04-25
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