Mind perception and stereotype attribution of corporations and charities

Rachel Hoi Yan Au, Gary Ting Tat Ng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


People generally attribute less mind to groups than to individuals. Previous research has also shown differences of mind perception between different types of groups, such that not-for-profit organizations were viewed as having more minds than for-profit organizations. In this paper, we ascertained this mind perception differences and further examined its underlying mechanisms and concomitant consequences. Across three studies, we replicated that people attributed more mind to not-for-profit organizations than to for-profit organizations. More critically, the current research linked mind perception to stereotype content model and added that this effect was mainly explained by perceived warmth of the groups rather than perceived competence. We found that although not-for-profit organizations were perceived as warmer but less competent than for-profit ones, the former was perceived both as having more experiential and agentic mental capacities than the latter. In addition, for-profit organizations received less compassionate responding than not-for-profit ones when they suffer, which was attributable to mind perception. This paper highlights the distinction between experience and warmth, and between agency and competence, thus extending our theoretical understanding of the fundamental dimensions of mind perception and those of the stereotype content of groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-293
Number of pages23
JournalBritish Journal of Social Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • groups
  • judgement
  • mind attribution
  • stereotype content model


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