This special issue addresses the nature, development, and consequences of a variety of lay theories for group perception and behavior. The articles illuminate the structural, functional, and dynamic properties of lay theories, as well as their scope. Addressing the development of the theories from diverse theoretical perspectives-evolutionary, cognitive, developmental, and sociocultural learning-each paper documents the consequences of different lay theories for understanding group inferences and judgements. Collectively the articles propose theoretical extensions and suggest practical implications of the lay theories approach for reducing prejudice.
Contents: Y-Y Hong, S.R. Levy, C-Y. Chiu, The Contribution of the Lay Theories Approach to the Study of Groups. L.A. Hirschfeld, On a Folk Theory of Society: Children, Evolution, and Mental Representations of Social Groups. J.A. Cameron, J.M. Alvarez, D.N. Ruble, A.J. Fuligni, Children's Lay Theories About Ingroups and Outgroups: Reconceptualizing Research on "Prejudice." B. Lickel, D.L. Hamilton, S.J. Sherman, Elements of a Lay Theory of Groups: Types of Groups, Relational Styles and the Perception of Group Entitativity. V. Yzerbyt, O. Corneille, C. Estrada, The Interplay of Subjective Essentialism and Entitativity in the Formation of Stereotypes. S.R. Levy, J.E. Plaks, Y-Y. Hong, C-Y. Chiu, C.S. Dweck, Static Versus Dynamic Theories and the Perception of Groups: Different Routes to Different Destinations. M.W. Morris, T. Menon, D.R. Ames, Culturally Conferred Conceptions of Agency: A Key to Social Perception of Persons, Groups, and Other Actors.