Stereotypes as Explanations: The Formation of Meaningful Beliefs about Social Groups

By Craig McGarty; Vincent Y. Yzerbyt et al. | Go to book overview

5
Illusory correlation and stereotype formation:
making sense of group differences
and cognitive biases
Marïette Berndsen, Russell Spears, Joop van der Pligt
and Craig McGarty

Women are more romantic than men. Scientists are duller than artists. We often make such judgements about groups. Some of these judgements are based on folklore, others are based on observation or experience. When we do rely on observed data how good are we at detecting relationships between group membership and behaviour? Do we find it easy to detect differences between groups? Are our judgements biased? This chapter deals with these issues and focuses on the paradigm that has dominated research on the formation of stereotypic differences between groups over the last three decades: the illusory correlation paradigm. In this paradigm respondents are exposed to a series of behavioural instances each linked to an individual belonging to a specific group. The term illusory correlation refers to perceived associations between attributes and instances other than those contained in the data. In the present case it generally refers to the perception of a stereotypic association of certain features with a given group, typically when the available data is presumed to give little evidence for this (hence 'illusory').

Detecting relationships between events in the environment, between group membership and behaviour, is an essential ingredient of adaptive behaviour. The information derived from these relationships or covariations allow us to make sense of the world by explaining the past, controlling the present and predicting the future (Alloy & Tabachnik, 1984; Crocker, 1981). In these terms, detecting contingency is clearly important for our well-being and even our survival. Although it is well-known that people are able to detect relations between stimuli, they are certainly not perfect in this regard (e.g., Jennings, Amabile & Ross, 1990). For example, it is known that people find it difficult to detect non-contingency (Peterson, 1980) and see relationships where these do not exist. Part of our argument below is that they also see them where researchers think that they do not exist, but we are jumping ahead of ourselves. The central theme in this chapter concerns the perception of socially relevant stimuli,

-90-

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.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

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

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Stereotypes as Explanations: The Formation of Meaningful Beliefs about Social Groups
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
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?

Full screen
/ 231

matching results for page

Cited passage

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

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

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.