Making noise, not getting anywhere.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Stereotypes a go-go

Cognitive Daily � The negative impact of positive stereotypes

Three groups of asian women were given math tests to perform. Each of the three group got a different focal questionnaire before, the first focused on the contestant's personality, the second on their race the third on their gender. Sounds like a fairy tale? There's a reason.

The race group came out doing about 15% worse on the test (the cited article doesn't provide statistics to put that difference into perspective, but 15% is big anyway, and if you go to the original paper, you'll find it's significant at p<0.025. Fair enough.), but the conclusion drawn is ludicrously ill-founded. Rather than conclude, for instance, that bringing up stressful subjects before a test disrupts performance, the performance drop is attributed to racial stereotypes of success and the pressure that puts on asians.

It's called "pulling causalities out of your ass", I believe. Which, ironically, is one of the stereotypes I have of psychology research. It just disrupts my concentration.


Post a Comment

<< Home