Studied how level of education and degree of contact with target groups affect stereotypes held by different occupational groups in post‐revolutionary Iran. Male university lecturers, taxi drivers and factory workers from Isfahan—25 of each—rated target groups (Americans, English, Arabs, Iranians) on 22 seven‐point trait scales. Fifteen subjects rated trait favourability. Results were analysed descriptively and by Spearman rank correlations of trait ratings across targets and trait assignments across subject groups. Stereotypes of Americans tend to be high in clarity and favourable across all three occupational groups (particularly ‘progressive’ and ‘industrious’), with the English somewhat less so. In contrast, Arabs are viewed highly unfavourable (‘lazy’, ‘happy‐go‐lucky’, ‘not industrious’). Autostereotypes are less consistent; the lecturers—educated in the West—are most unfavourable. It was concluded that low education and little personal contact lead to more extreme hetero‐stereotype, the reverse being true for (negative) autostereotype. Also, it seems that saturated media coverage does not necessarily have much effect on social stereotypes.