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Social Categorization definition | Psychology Glossary | alleydog.com

Social Categorization

Social Categorization is the process of classifying people into groups based on similar characteristics, whether it be nationality, age, occupation, diagnosis, or some other trait. When we meet a new professor, for example, we may classify her as a woman, as middle-aged, as Asian, as an academic, and so on. Social categorization is a natural part of social perception; it provides a mental shortcut in that it allows us to infer properties about a person based on the properties of others in the same category (although our inferences may not always be correct).

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