Relationship between Subjects, Scales, and Stimuli in Research on Social Perception

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This study examined the extent to which ratings of a stereotype are a function of the stimuli being rated, the rating scales, and the rater. A heterogeneous sample of 260 college students (whites, blacks, and Orientals from three geographic regions) rated six stimulus categories, e.g., whites, blacks, and Orientals, on 24 bipolar scales. Factor analyses were conducted separately on scales, stimuli, and subjects. Then the interaction between scales, stimuli, and subjects was examined using a three mode factor analysis. The results emphasized that the interaction among the modes accounted for meaningful variance in the ratings of the stereotype.

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