Stereotyping as Inductive Hypothesis Testing

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Taylor & Francis, Nov 6, 2003 - Psychology - 208 pages
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Traditional social hypotheses have a built-in tendency to verify themselves and so involuntarily resist attempts at stereotype change or correction. This is the insight demonstrated and discussed as the start point for an alternative approach to the problem of stereotyping and hypothesis testing. Stereotyping as Inductive Hypothesis Testing explicates the proposition that many stereotypes originate not so much in individual brains, but in the stimulus environment that interacts with and constitutes the social individual. This cognitive-ecological approach is then used to analyse the different aspects of language, sign systems and communication that can implicitly govern hypothesis testing procedures and lead to circular or reinforcing outcomes. The authors describe factors in tests such as judgment, memory and expectation and go on to suggest viable ecological learning approaches to them. An original research project based on a classroom situation is used to demonstrate and verify findings. The cognitive-ecological approach is then contextualised in relation to both the traditional approaches it can replace and the contemporary statistical sampling practices it can improve. Written with a profound understanding of the link between theoretical rigour and good empirical research practice this monograph will be invaluable to anyone with an interest in stereotyping or who wishes to enhance the reliability and self-awareness of their research methods.

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About the author (2003)

Klaus Fiedler is Professor of Psychology at University of Heidelberg in Germany. Among his main research interests are cognitive social psychology, language and communication, social memory, inductive cognitive processes in judgment and decision making, and computer modeling of the human mind. Professor Fiedler was the winner of the 2000 Leibniz Award.

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