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Social Perception and Social RealityWhy Accuracy Dominates Bias and Self-Fulfilling Prophecy$
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Lee Jussim

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780195366600

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195366600.001.0001

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Stereotypes Have Been Stereotyped!

Stereotypes Have Been Stereotyped!

(p.389) 19 Stereotypes Have Been Stereotyped!
Social Perception and Social Reality

Lee Jussim

Oxford University Press

This chapter captures and summarizes some of the major themes and implications of the prior four chapters on stereotypes: It highlights the broad and general conclusions, based on the scientific, empirical evidence on stereotype accuracy, that are and are not justified; it highlights the prevalence of the “processistic fallacy”—of basing conclusions emphasizing stereotype inaccuracy on research that merely discovers (supposedly flawed) processes, but without actually assessing accuracy; it reviews evidence on the “wisdom of crowds” to explain why consensual stereotypes are not the false cultural myths they are often accused of being and, instead, are generally far more accurate than personal stereotypes; it highlights limitations to existing empirical research on stereotype (in)accuracy; it reviews the limited evidence on conditions under which high stereotype inaccuracy either has been found or is likely to be found; and it introduces the “egalitarian denial” hypothesis, which predicts that people highly motivated to be or appear egalitarian are those most likely to develop inaccurate stereotypes, because they will often underestimate real differences. This chapter also concludes that many social science perspectives on stereotypes are exaggerated, inaccurate, and rigidly resistant to change in the face of relentless disconfirming evidence and maintain their conclusions by virtue of a very selective focus on studies and findings that confirm the a priori belief in the irrationality and badness of stereotypes.

Keywords:   stereotypes, accuracy, stereotype accuracy, egalitarian denial, wisdom of crowds

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