What Constitutes Evidence of Stereotype Accuracy?

Lee Jussim

in Social Perception and Social Reality

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780195366600
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199933044 | DOI:
What Constitutes Evidence of Stereotype Accuracy?

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This chapter lays the groundwork for understanding Chapter 17, which reviews every high-quality scientific investigation of the (in)accuracy of stereotypes that I could find. Chapter 16 facilitates understanding Chapter 17 by discussing how understanding accuracy requires first understanding three different levels of analysis (population, small group, person perception), that (in)accuracy at one level rarely provides any information about (in)accuracy at any of the other levels, and that researchers committed to a view of stereotypes as inaccurate frequently do indeed confound these levels; reviewing the earliest research suggesting that stereotypes are not necessarily inaccurate, including the “kernel of truth” hypothesis, and the fact that this empirical evidence apparently had no effect on the dominant view in the social sciences that stereotypes were inaccurate; discussing the quality standards that studies had to meet to be included in the Chapter 17 review; discussing the main two types of stereotype (in)accuracy, discrepancies from perfection and correspondence with real differences; and discussing how these two types of (in)accuracy can occur at the level of either consensual stereotypes (what most people generally believe) or personal stereotypes (what a particular individual believes). Understanding these issues is necessary for understanding the review of empirical research on stereotype accuracy in the next chapter.

Keywords: stereotypes; accuracy; stereotype accuracy; kernel of truth hypothesis

Chapter.  7884 words. 

Subjects: Social Psychology

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