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Models for social evaluation – controversies and integration, 2021-2022


Semester 1, 2021-2022

Type of course

Joint Seminars


September 14, September 21, September 28, October 5, October 12 and October 19, 2021




6 days

Maximum number of participants



1 EC will be appointed for participation in the complete course


Naomi Ellemers (Utrecht University, Coordinator), Andrea Abele (Erlangen), Susan Fiske (Princeton), Alex Koch (University of Chicago), Vincent Yzerbyt (UC Louvain)

Content, learning goals, preparation

Goals are:
* To learn about the content and evidence of five different models for social evaluation;
* To critically assess the relation between theory, methodology, and evidence for each model;
* To collaborate with students working at other labs to develop new research questions;
* To learn how to use scientific disagreement productively for collaboration and advancement of new insights.

The coordinator (Naomi Ellemers) will explain the purpose of the course: Students are divided into small groups (ideally clustering students who work at different institutions), to work on preparing the weekly assignments. The following five weeks, each of the teaching staff does one session with the students on ‘their’ model. The course coordinator will sit in on these sessions. Students prepare for these sessions in small groups by reading a key empirical publication about that week’s model, preparing written questions about methodology, results, or theoretical conclusions, and submitting these ahead of the session. During the session, the staff member in question will spend 30 min explaining their model, there are 30 minutes for students to present their main question and receive an answer to that, and 30 minutes to discuss implications for future theory development and research. 
For the final meeting, each group of students prepares and submits a final assignment developing a novel prediction stemming from the combination of at least two different models and design a study to test this. In the final meeting (chaired by Naomi Ellemers) each group presents their idea, and discusses this with the other participants. Ideas that groups feel particularly passionate about, might be shared with the teaching staff to see whether it is possible to find a way to actually conduct the study that was designed.  

Reading assignments: As a group, the teaching staff have embarked on an adversarial alignment aiming to integrate insights from their five distinct models for social evaluation. So far this has resulted in three papers: one on the process of how to collaborate with scientific adversaries (PNAS), one detailing the five different models and their empirical support (Advances), and one about three key controversies between the five models, the development of an integrative framework that might resolve them, and new predictions to be tested in future research (PR). These three papers (and background information in key publications referenced there) will be the reading assignments for the group. 

--Koch, A., Yzerbyt, V., Abele, A., Ellemers, N., & Fiske, S.T. (2021). Social evaluation: Comparing models across interpersonal, intragroup, intergroup, several-group, and many-group contexts. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 63, 1-68.
--Abele-Brehm, A., Ellemers, N., Fiske, S.T., Koch, A., & Yzerbyt, V. (2021). Navigating the social world: Toward an integrated framework for evaluating self, individuals, and groups. Psychological Review, 128, 290-314.
--Ellemers, N., Fiske, S., Abele, A.E., Koch, A., & Yzerbyt, V. (2020). Adversarial alignment enables competing models to engage in cooperative theory-building, toward cumulative science. Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences, 117, 7561-7567. DOI: .  

7 weekly meetings on Tuesdays 4 PM – 5.30 PM (time of day to accommodate the variety of time zones where teaching staff and students are located)

Reading and preparation per week:
1.) Sept 14: Ellemers: Introduction and assignments. 
Read ‘Context matters’: page 3-8, and page 90. 
Read ‘Navigating the social world’: Controversy 1, 2, 3 
2.) Sept 21: Ellemers: Behavioral Regulation Model
* Read ‘Context matters’: page 16-24.
* Read: Ellemers, N., Pagliaro, S., Barreto, M., & Leach, C. W. (2008). Is it better to be moral than smart? The effects of morality and competence norms on the decision to work at group status improvement. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95(6), 1397-1410.  
3.) Sept 28: Abele: Dual Perspective Model
* Read ‘Context matters’: page 9-16.
* Read: Abele, A. E., & Wojciszke, B. (2007). Agency and communion from the perspective of self versus others. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 93(5), 751-763. 
4.) Oct 5: Yzerbyt: Dimensional Compensation Model
* Read ‘Context matters’: page 24-32.
* Read: Cambon, L., Yzerbyt, V. Y., & Yakimova, S. (2015). Compensation in intergroup relations: An investigation of its structural and strategic foundations. British Journal of Social Psychology, 54(1), 140-158. 
5.) Oct 12: Fiske: Stereotype Content Model
* Read ‘Context matters’: page 32-40
* Read: Cuddy, A. J. C., Fiske, S. T., & Glick, P. (2007). The BIAS map: Behaviors from intergroup affect and stereotypes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92(4), 631–648.  
6.) Oct 19: Koch: ABC Model
* Read ‘Context matters’: page 40-48
* Read: Koch, A., Imhoff, R., Dotsch, R., Unkelbach, C., & Alves, H. (2016). The ABC of stereotypes about groups: Agency/socioeconomic success, conservative–progressive beliefs, and communion. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 110(5), 675–709. 
7.) Oct 26: Ellemers: Fruits of adversarial collaboration