The accuracy of stereotypes: data and implications

_ Lee Jussim, professor, Rutgers University; Nathan Honeycutt, PhD candidate, Rutgers University. CSPI, 5 September 2021.


Academics, experts, and laypeople often assume stereotypes about groups are inaccurate. This assumption is used to justify policies meant to reduce or eliminate such beliefs.

Most stereotypes that have been studied have been shown to be approximately correct. Usually, stereotype accuracy correlations exceed .50, making them some of the largest relationships ever found in social psychology.

Even when people hold true stereotypes, they have little effect on how people judge or treat individuals about whom they have other, individualized information.

Unlike most findings in social psychology that are small and flimsy, the results noted above are clear, large, reliable, and untouched by the replication crisis.

The field of stereotype accuracy casts doubt on the usefulness of programs meant to reduce stereotypes in education, government, and business as a way to achieve equality.

The full study can be read at the Center for the Study of Partisanship and Ideology (CSPI)

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