Confirmation bias tendency to search for information

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- Confirmation bias: tendency to search for information that confirms one’s existing beliefs and to avoid information which contradicts these - People ask questions designed to confirm expectations – this protects them fromacquiring/using disconfirming information - People ignore information that disputes expectations - More likely to remember stereotype-consistent information – forget/ignore non-consistent info - People who are unprejudiced pay more attention to stereotype-disconfirming information - Research focus on gender: people see female-dominated occupations (ie. nurse/teacher) as requiring feminine personality traits/physical attributes for success – male-dominated roles need more masculine traits/physical attributes - Women also tend to make less money than male counterparts Assessing stereotypes 1. Self-Report Measure: people disclose their experiences being stereotyped and stereotyping or discriminating against others - direct, cost-effective approach
- people often reluctant to express stereotypes about other groups – tendency to misreport answers in order to appear more accepting/tolerant than they actually are2. Covert measures: helps researchers gather information when people are unwilling to discuss their stereotypes openly - ie. bogus pipeline = fake lie-detector test – people more likely to tell the truth about how they feel - implicit association test – it’s easier/faster to make same response to concepts that are strongly associated with each than those that are weakly associated Consequences of being stereotyped 1.Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: process by which people’s expectations about a person lead them to elicit behaviour that confirms these beliefs Page 33 of - ie. you think you’re speaking to a not-so-smart person, therefore you ask questions about less important/significant topic (ie. American idol) – you think you’re speaking to a smart person, therefore you ask questions about important/complex topics (ie. they’re opinion on the debt ceiling debate in the United States) - people who have negative expectations for someone might treat them more negatively2. Stereotype Threat: apprehension that individual may experience when he/shebelieves he/she may behave in a way that confirms existing cultural stereotypes, which inturn disrupts performance - ie. a woman is told she will take a test that women generally do poorly on – thismay make her nervous and she will likely not perform as well on the test - this consequence has a major impact on academic performance - threat can also impact same person in different ways, depending on which aspect of their identity is more salient - ie. Asian women do better on math tests when their ethnic identity is primes, butworse when their sex is primed - threat can lead to lower working-memory capacity, which can negatively impactperformance - being the only representative of one’s group can lead to negative performance 3.Reduced psychological well-being - rejection-identification model: perceiving prejudice/discrimination negatively impacts psychological well- being
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