Stereotypes and Stereotyping

Module titleStereotypes and Stereotyping
Module codePSY3410
Academic year2018/9
Module staff

Dr Louise Pendry (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

Stereotypes and stereotyping are pervasive features of social life. Research within social psychology has made some fascinating discoveries about the origins of stereotypes, why we use them and the factors that moderate their influence. In this module we will focus on the many ways in which stereotypes have been studied, starting with the early research on content (what is in a stereotype?), to more recent work on process (how is such information organised and represented mentally?), to judgements and behaviours (how do these mental representations spill over into our attitudes/beliefs about and behaviour towards members of stereotyped groups?). Through this module you will further develop your understanding in this intriguing area, building upon basic social cognition concepts encountered in Social Psychology II.

If you enjoyed PSY2203 Social Psychology II, then this module should really appeal.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module analyses the extant literature on stereotypes and stereotyping. The module aims to explore in depth both traditional and contemporary approaches to the area. Areas considered include using stereotypes, stereotypes and language, stereotype activation, regulation and stereotype change. You will examine differing approaches to the study of stereotyping and will critically evaluate the contribution of differing methodologies and research outcomes to our understanding of social life in both laboratory and more applied settings (e.g., within organisations). As such, material in this module may be relevant for your future employment settings.

Moreover, through attending the weekly seminars and completing the assessments, you will further develop the following academic and professional skills:

  • problem solving (linking theory to practice, developing your own ideas with confidence, showing entrepreneurial awareness, being able to respond to novel and unfamiliar problems)
  • managing structure (identifying key demands of the task, setting clearly defined goals, responding flexibly to changing priorities)
  • time management (managing time effectively individually and within a group)
  • collaboration (respecting the views and values of others, taking initiative and leading others, supporting others in their work, maintaining group cohesiveness and purpose), and
  • audience awareness (presenting ideas effectively in multiple formats, persuading others of the importance and relevance of your views, responding positively and effectively to questions).

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Evaluate some traditional and contemporary approaches to the study of stereotyping. Specifically, they will have acquired a systematic understanding of the effectiveness of differing research methodologies and the ability to critically appraise the research

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 2. Acquire detailed, systematic and comprehensive knowledge within the discipline, with in-depth specialisation at the forefront of the discipline in certain areas and demonstrate advanced critical understanding of this knowledge and of the limits and provisional nature of this knowledge
  • 3. Review and critically evaluate published work and identify the strengths and weaknesses of this work and structure this literature to present logical, coherent and sustained arguments to support conclusions at an advanced level
  • 4. Address systematically complex problems which may be framed within unpredictable contexts, think critically, creatively, and independently and fully appreciate the complexities of the issues at an advanced level
  • 5. Understand and apply essential principles in designing novel research, critically evaluate and analyse empirical evidence and assess the reliability of empirical evidence using a range of defined techniques at an advanced level
  • 6. Illustrate the wider ethical issues relating to the subject and its application at an advanced level

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

    Syllabus plan

    Syllabus plan

    • What are stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination and where do they come from? Why bother studying them?
    • Physical appearance stereotypes (e.g., age, gender, race): The current state of play
    • Stereotype use: When, why and how?
    • Stereotypes and language: Perpetuating negative outgroup perceptions by what we say
    • Stereotype suppression
    • Automatic and controlled aspects of stereotyping and prejudice
      • Stereotype activation (to include group debate)
      • Stereotype activation as a non-conscious prime for social behaviour
      • Stereotype threat
    • Stereotypes and the Brain
    • Can we change stereotypes and reduce prejudice? Assessing the success of social psychological interventions
    • Consolidation and integration

    Learning and teaching

    Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

    Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

    Details of learning activities and teaching methods

    CategoryHours of study timeDescription
    Scheduled Learning and Teaching33 Seminars and seminar skills workshops (11 x 2 hours, 11 x 1 hour)
    Guided Independent Study70Reading in preparation for weekly seminars, following reading list recommendations on reading list and linked to ELE module homepage and independently exploring further sources of information using links provided. Preparing seminar presentations.
    Guided Independent Study10Additional seminar skills workshop preparation (e.g., learning how to give presentations, debating, planning essays, writing sample introductions, improving exam technique)
    Guided Independent Study37Essay preparation, Revision


    Formative assessment

    Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
    Debate30 minutes15 minsAllIndividual/group oral and written feedback

    Summative assessment (% of credit)

    CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

    Details of summative assessment

    Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
    Examination503 hoursAllWritten, generic feedback posted on module ELE page
    Essay402000 wordsAllWritten, individual feedback on script, generic feedback posted on ELE
    Oral presentation1015 minutesAllWritten


    Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

    Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
    ExaminationExaminationAllAugust Ref/Def
    EssayEssayAllAugust Ref/Def
    Oral presentationOral presentationAllAugust Ref/Def

    Re-assessment notes

    Three assessments are required for this module. Where you have been referred/deferred in the examination you will have the opportunity to take a second examination in the August/September re-assessment period. For a deferred presentation, reassessment will be by arrangement with the module convenor. For a deferred presentation, reassessment will be by arrangement with the module convenor. For a referred presentation, reassessment shall be by individual presentation in the August Ref/Def period. Where you have been referred/deferred in the essay you will be required to resubmit the essay. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%; deferred marks are not capped.


    Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

    Most of the research discussed will be drawn from journal articles. Several chapters from the following books will also be useful:

    • Brown, R. (2010). Prejudice: Its social psychology. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
    • Macrae, C.N., Stangor, C., and Hewstone, M. (1996). Stereotypes and stereotyping. London: Guilford.
    • Schneider, D. J. (2005). The psychology of stereotyping. New York: Guilford (this book is now available online in the library)

    Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

    Module has an active ELE page

    Key words search

    Psychology, Stereotypes, stereotyping, social cognition, stereotype activation, stereotype use, language, stereotype suppression, stereotype automaticity, stereotype change, diversity training, prejudice

    Credit value15
    Module ECTS


    Module pre-requisites

    PSY2203 Social Psychology II or equivalent

    Module co-requisites


    NQF level (module)


    Available as distance learning?


    Origin date


    Last revision date