Experiments with People: Revelations from Social Psychology

By Robert P. Abelson; Kurt P. Frey et al. | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Beneath the Mask:
Tools for Detecting
Hidden Prejudice

“He who has eyes to see and ears to hear can convince himself that no mortal can keep a secret. If his lips are silent, he chatters with his fingertips; betrayal oozes out of every pore.

—Sigmund Freud (1865–1939), pioneer of psychoanalysis


When we, the authors of this volume, mention that we are (social) psychologists, we almost always receive one of two replies. The first is: “That must be so interesting!” We certainly think so, and hope readers of this volume agree. The second reply we get is: “I'd better watch out—you might start analyzing me!” When we hear this, we react in two ways. First, we are wryly amused that others believe we can so easily peer into their minds. Second, we are a little frustrated that others misunderstand how we do our science. We find ourselves in the position of having to gently refute people's widely held misconceptions about what (social) psychologists do, or are capable of doing.

For example, people commonly believe that psychologists can figure them out simply by making a few shrewd observations. In this regard, psychologists supposedly resemble Sherlock Holmes, the famous detective who drew astounding inferences from clues that lesser mortals overlooked. A speck of dust here, a muddy footprint there, and Holmes could deduce that Moriarty had stolen the Princess's emerald. Similarly, a nervous gesture here, a slip of the tongue there, and your neighborhood psychologist can supposedly deduce that nobody really loved you as a child.

Sherlock Holmes was, of course, a fictional character, so it is hardly surprising that his investigative methods would have come to grief in the real


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Experiments with People: Revelations from Social Psychology
Table of contents

Table of contents



Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 358

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?