Skip to main content Accessibility help

Inherence is an aspect of psychological essentialism

  • Tara C. Dennehy (a1)


Inherence is not a distinct construct from psychological essentialism; it is one of several underlying beliefs. I propose that inherence is only one entry point to the perception of an essence and posit that context may influence which aspects of essentialist reasoning precede inferring an essence. I also discuss how psychological essentialism can uniquely account for violations of category-based expectancies.



Hide All
Ahn, W., Kalish, C., Gelman, S. A., Medin, D., Luhmann, C., Atran, S., Coley, J. D. & Shafto, P. (2001) Why essences are essential in the psychology of concepts. Cognition 82:5969. doi:10.1016/S0010-0277(01)00145-7.
Bastian, B. & Haslam, N. (2006) Psychological essentialism and stereotype endorsement. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 42:228–35. doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2005.03.003.
Bastian, B. & Haslam, N. (2007) Psychological essentialism and attention allocation: Preferences for stereotype-consistent versus stereotype-inconsistent information. Journal of Social Psychology 147:531–41. doi:10.3200/SOCP.147.5.531-542.
Bastian, B. & Haslam, N. (2008) Immigration from the perspective of hosts and immigrants: Roles of psychological essentialism and social identity. Asian Journal of Social Psychology 11:127–40. doi:10.1111/j.1467-839X.2008.00250.x.
Ben-Zeev, A. & Dennehy, T. C. (2014) When boys wear pink: Gendered color cues evoke risk taking. Psychology of Men and Masculinity. Advance online publication. doi:10.1037/a0034683.
Diesendruck, G. & Haber, L. (2009) God's categories: The effect of religiosity on children's teleological and essentialist beliefs about categories. Cognition 110:100–14. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2008.11.001.
Gelman, S. A. & Diesendruck, G. (1999) A reconsideration of concepts: On the compatibility of psychological essentialism and context sensitivity. In: Conceptual development: Piaget's legacy, ed. Scholnick, E. K., Nelson, K., Gelman, S. A. & Miller, P. H., pp. 79102. Erlbaum.
Haslam, N. & Ernst, D. (2002) Essentialist beliefs about mental disorders. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology 21:628–44. doi:10.1521/jscp.21.6.628.22793.
Haslam, N. & Levy, S. R. (2006) Essentialist beliefs about homosexuality: Structure and implications for prejudice. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 32:471–85. doi:10.1177/0146167205276516.
Haslam, N., Rothschild, L. & Ernst, D. (2000) Essentialist beliefs about social categories. British Journal of Social Psychology 39:113–27. doi:10.1348/014466600164363.
Keller, J. (2005) In genes we trust: The biological component of psychological essentialism and its relationship to mechanisms of motivated social cognition. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 88:686702. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.88.4.686.
Medin, D. L. & Ortony, A. (1989) Psychological essentialism. In: Similarity and analogical reasoning, ed. Vosniadou, S. & Ortony, A., p. 179–95. Cambridge University Press.
Rehder, B. & Burnett, R. C. (2005) Feature inference and the causal structure of categories. Cognitive Psychology 50:264314. doi:10.1016/j.cogpsych.2004.09.002.

Inherence is an aspect of psychological essentialism

  • Tara C. Dennehy (a1)


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed