A social neuroscience approach to intergroup perception and evaluation

J. J. Van Bavel, W. A. Cunningham

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary


Social cognitive neuroscience offers the promise of understanding human sociality by investigating the affective and cognitive operations of the human brain. This approach has already provided evidence of the automaticity of intergroup perception and evaluation, and illuminated how complex interactions between multiple neural component processes guide behavior. This article highlights the rapidity with which individuals distinguish different groups, their ability to do so without conscious awareness, and how these initial judgments may be modified by motives or goals. Ultimately, insights from social cognitive neuroscience will enhance our understanding of intergroup processing and lead to interventions that will reduce intergroup conflict.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Consciousness
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9780123738738
StatePublished - 2009


  • Attitudes
  • Cognitive neuroscience
  • Evaluation
  • Groups
  • Intergroup relations
  • Prejudice
  • Social categorization
  • Social cognitive neuroscience
  • Social neuroscience
  • Social psychology
  • Stereotypes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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