Developed and researched during my third year at UCSB in collaboration with Dr. Scott Reid, this thesis correlations fitness traits with communicability and memorability of stereotypes.
Research on stereotypes has shown that some stereotypes are more communicable than others, but little work has explored explanatory mechanisms. The present research tested the hypothesis that stereotype traits with greater biological fitness consequences (positive or negative; e.g., aggressive, wealthy) would have a recall and communicability advantage over traits with less biological fitness consequences (e.g, artistic, impulsive). Traits were pretested for fitness consequences, and embedded in narratives regarding fictitious groups. The findings indicate that fitness consequences do predict communicability and memory recall.