Graduation Year

Spring 2012

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Michael Spezio

Reader 2

Catherine L. Reed

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2012 Christina G. Boardman


Stereotype groups are interrelated. For example, in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States, racial minorities are referred to special education at a much higher rate than are majority racial groups (Tse, Lloyd, Petchkovsky, and Manaia, 2005; Harry, Arnaiz, Klingner, Sturges, 2008). The Stereotype Content Model describes stereotype relationships in terms of an interaction between competence and warmth. Warmth is the more consistent dimension. The nature of competence remains elusive (Fiske, Cuddy, and Glick, 2007; Fiske, Cuddy, Glick, and Xu, 2002). Knowledge of relationships between stereotype groups, which themselves may be effects of bias, could factor into observed competence effects. Disabilities are characterized by objective competence deficits. Disabilities stereotype research allow for more refined models of competence. While competence perception may vary between disabilities, with different domains of competence deficits, unifying disability schemas may also exist. In either case, different competence processes could be inferred.

We compared ratings on the Fiske scale (FC, FW), a multimodal competence scale (MMC), a quality of life scale (QL-T), and an overt threat scale (OPT) for five disability groups (DS) and a set of established stereotype (ES) groups. Our MMC analysis indicates the competence dimension and stereotype group interaction was more significant for DS and ES together than for DS alone. This is surprising, because the multimodal competence scale was designed to target specific disability groups. Results indicate there may be some unifying disability schema. Marginally significant differences between disability groups on the QL-T indicate complex relationships between disabilities stereotypes may also exist.