Jessim’s Analysis of Stereotype Accuracy

… a core term in Governance and Institutions and Atlas100

Click for Lee Jussim’s webpage

Concept description

Lee Jussim, a professor of social psychology at Rutgers University, writes extensively on the extent to which a Stereotype provides an accurate reflection of empirical reality. In a recent post in Psychology Today (reference below), Jussim asserts that:

“1. Stereotype accuracy is one of the largest and most replicable effects in all of social psychology.

“2. The fact that this is true has had almost no effect on the frequency with which social scientists claim, assume, or imply that stereotypes are inaccurate.

Jussim sets out a number of definitions in developing his analysis:

Stereotype: a belief about the characteristics of a social group.

Social perceptual accuracy: Correspondence between a person’s belief and social reality. Jussim notes one exception: “If that person has caused a self-fulfilling prophecy, then the belief was not initially accurate.”

Social reality: What people are actually like. Their beliefs, attitudes, attributes, accomplishments, behaviors, etc.

Correlation: A statistic indexing how strongly one variable relates to another. Correlations range … between 0 (two variables are unrelated) and 1.0 (two variables are perfectly related). Correlations are often used as one way to measure an “effect size” – how big an effect one variable has on another.

Stereotype accuracy is the extent to which people’s beliefs about groups correspond to those groups’ actual characteristics. Jussim focuses on two types of stereotype accuracy:

  1. Consensual stereotype accuracy correlations. These are the correlations between a group of perceivers’ average beliefs about a target group, and the target group’s actual characteristics.
  2. Personal stereotype accuracy correlations. These are the correlations between an individual perceiver’s beliefs about a target group, and the target group’s actual characteristics.

For example, [one might ask] introductory psychology students what they believe about the social status and achievements of Jews, African-Americans, and Asian Americans. [The] students would be the perceivers, and Jews, African-Americans, and Asian Americans would be the target groups.

How big does a correlation have to be for social psychologists to consider it BIG?  Correlations of .40 and higher, are generally considered large. Social psychology is a field of modest effects. The overall average in the field, corresponds to a correlation of about .20 (Richard et al, 2003).

Jussim states:

“Over the last 40 years, there has been a ton of research assessing the accuracy of stereotypes [indicating that] stereotype accuracy is far more replicable than many far more famous “effects” in social psychology.”

He writes:

“The following data are from my recent review of this area of research (Jussim et al, 2014). It gives the proportion of results for various types of research that are greater than correlations of .30 and .50, respectively, because Richard et al (2003) provided these figures for all of social psychology, which then constitutes an excellent standard of comparison.

“These results are based on over 20 studies of stereotype accuracy conducted by multiple independent researchers and laboratories (see Jussim, 2012; Jussim et al, in press, for reviews). Results for other stereotypes (e.g., age, occupation, politics, etc.), are similar. As such, stereotype accuracy is far more replicable than many far more famous “effects” in social psychology (large effects are inherently more replicable, but understanding why that must be involves an arcane statistical discussion that is beyond the scope of this blog entry).

“To be sure, there is some evidence of inaccuracy in stereotypes, especially national stereotypes of personality. There is also good evidence that political ideologues exaggerate each others’ views. Nonetheless, the BIG picture remains intact: Stereotype accuracy is one of the largest and most replicable findings in all of social psychology.

“Why, then, have social scientists been declaring and decrying the inaccuracy of stereotypes for nearly a century? The data don’t now, and never have, supported such a claim.”

Proportion of results for various types of research that are
greater than correlations of .30 and .50
Proportions of correlations that are:
>.30
>.50
All of social psychology 24% 5%
Race, consensual stereotype accuracy 95% 95%
Race, personal stereotype accuracy 47% 18%
Gender, consensual stereotype accuracy 100% 94%
Gender, personal stereotype accuracy 79% 58%
Abstract of Jussim’s 2012 book, Social Perception and Social Reality

Click for Oxford University Press website

Jussim’s Psychology Today posts on stereotypes

Lee Jussim is an active blog contributor to Psychology Today. The following is a selection of articles addressing stereotypes:

Lee Jussim (2016), The Science Reform Effort and Its Discontents – Scientists embrace skepticism and reject accusations of shaming, Psychology Today, 17 November, at https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/rabble-rouser/201611/the-science-reform-effort-and-its-discontents, accessed 18 December 2016.

Lee Jussim (2016), What Explains Racial, Gender, and Other Group-Based Gaps?
The “Gap=Discrimination” Assumption Critically Evaluated, Psychology Today, 13 March, at https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/rabble-rouser/201603/what-explains-racial-gender-and-other-group-based-gaps, accessed 18 December 2016.

Lee Jussim (2015), Women in Science: What Explains Gaps? Part II A physicist weighs in on the “gender gap in STEM” controversies, Psychology Today, 24 October, at https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/rabble-rouser/201510/women-in-science-what-explains-gaps-part-ii, accessed 17 December 2016.

Lee Jussim (2015), Women in Science: What Explains Gaps? Part I A physicist weighs in on the “gender gap in STEM” controversies, Psychology Today, 9 October, at https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/rabble-rouser/201510/women-in-science-what-explains-gaps-part-i, accessed 17 December 2016.

Lee Jussim (2015), Sexism, Bias, Disadvantage, Science, and Integrity – Simine’s & Lee’s excellent (I hope) discussion of biases in Psychology and STEM, Psychology Today, 10 May, at https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/rabble-rouser/201503/sexism-bias-disadvantage-science-and-integrity, accessed 17 December 2016.

Lee Jussim (2014), Stereotype Inaccuracy: A Belief Impervious to Data When are liberals anti-scientific, Psychology Today, 1 August, at https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/rabble-rouser/201408/stereotype-inaccuracy-belief-impervious-data, accessed 17 December 2016.

Lee Jussim (2014), Political Distortion of Science: Stereotype Inaccuracy? The Black Hole at Bottom of “Many Declarations that Stereotypes Are Inaccurate,” Psychology Today, 8 July, at https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/rabble-rouser/201407/political-distortion-science-stereotype-inaccuracy, accessed 17 December 2016.

Lee Jussim (2014), How Are Stereotypes Like the Weather? Stereotype Inaccuracy: Sense and Nonsense, Psychology Today, 15 January, at https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/rabble-rouser/201401/how-are-stereotypes-the-weather, accessed 17 December 2016.

Lee Jussim (2013), Liberal Bias in Social Psychology: Personal Experience III, Hostility and apoplexy, Psychology Today, 19 November, at https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/rabble-rouser/201311/liberal-bias-in-social-psychology-personal-experience-iii, accessed 17 December 2016.

Lee Jussim (2013), Liberal Bias in Social Psychology: Personal Experience II, Psychology Today, 31 October, at https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/rabble-rouser/201310/liberal-bias-in-social-psychology-personal-experience-ii, accessed 17 December 2016.

Lee Jussim (2013), Liberal Bias in Social Psychology: Personal Experience I, Psychology Today, 13 September, at https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/rabble-rouser/201309/liberal-bias-in-social-psychology-personal-experience-i, accessed 17 December 2016.

Lee Jussim (2012), Stereotype Inaccuracy? Extraordinary Scientific Delusions and the Blindness of Psychologists, Psychology Today, 25 October, at https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/rabble-rouser/201210/stereotype-inaccuracy, accessed 17 December 2016.

Lee Jussim (2013), Stereotypes Have Been Stereotyped! Beliefs about stereotypes are often irrational and rigidly resistant to change, Psychology Today, 25 January, at https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/rabble-rouser/201301/stereotypes-have-been-stereotyped, accessed 17 December 2016.

Lee Jussim (2012), Stereotype Inaccuracy? Extraordinary Scientific Delusions and the Blindness of Psychologists, Psychology Today, 25 October, at https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/rabble-rouser/201210/stereotype-inaccuracy, accessed 17 December 2016.

Atlas topic, subject, and course

Diversity, Identity, and Rights (core topic) in Governance and Institutions and Atlas100 Governance and Institutions.

Source

Lee Jussim (2014), Stereotype Inaccuracy: A Belief Impervious to Data When are liberals anti-scientific, Psychology Today, 1 August, at https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/rabble-rouser/201408/stereotype-inaccuracy-belief-impervious-data, accessed 17 December 2016. Jussim cites the following:

Jussim, L., Crawford, J. T., Anglin, S. M., Chambers, J. R., Stevens, S. T., Cohen, F. (2014).  Stereotype accuracy: One of the largest and most replicable effects in all of social psychology.  Draft chapter prepared for T. Nelson (ed.), Handbook of Prejudice, Stereotyping, and Discrimination, Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Jussim, L. (2012). Social perception and social reality: Why accuracy dominates bias and self-fulfilling prophecy. New York: Oxford University Press.

Jussim, L., Cain, T., Crawford, J., Harber, K., & Cohen, F.  (2009). The unbearable accuracy of stereotypes. In T. Nelson (Ed.), Handbook of prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination (pp.199-227).Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Richard, F. D., Bond, C. F. Jr., Stokes-Zoota, J. J. (2003). One hundred years of social psychology quantitatively described. Review of General Psychology, 7, 331-363.

Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified on 18 December 2016.

Image: Welcome to Lee Jussim’s Home Page, at http://www.rci.rutgers.edu/~jussim/, accessed 18 December 2016.