The Bias toward Bias and the Stereotyping of Stereotypes

A lot of social science has a bias towards dwelling on people’s biases. It delights in uncovering cognitive biases, stereotypes, errors, self-fulfilling prophecies, and the like. Wikipedia has a list of cognitive biases which is probably several hundred strong.

But people are in general pretty accurate in thinking too. This tends to get less attention.

Also, social science tends to stereotype stereotypes. Stereotypes get stereotyped as wrong. But, contrary to the stereotype of stereotypes, plenty of them are accurate.

Lee Jussim, Social Perception and Social Reality: Why Accuracy Dominates Bias and Self-Fulfilling Prophecy (Oxford University Press, 2011).

 

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