Print version ISSN 1657-9267
Lay theories are theories that lay people use to understand and predict events in their everyday life. Empirical evidence suggests that lay theories impact intergroup relations, among other things, , because of their ability to promote tolerance or rejection towards social minorities. This review focuses on research findings on the relationship between three lay theories (Protestant Work Ethic, Just World Belief and Psychological Essentialism), and attitudes toward minority groups across several social and cultural contexts, while addressing the role of other variables that may have an impact on their interpretation (perceiver and contextual characteristics). In doing so, it attempts to establish the relevance of the study of lay theories in the Latin-American context emphasizing the findings of the scarce, yet substantial, work performed so far, as well as the need to perform more research in this direction.
Keywords : Lay theories; stereotypes; prejudice; essentialism; Protestant Work Ethic; Just; World Belief; Intergroup Relations; Stereotype (Psychology; Law-Theory; Prejudices and Antipathies.