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More intelligent people are quicker to learn (and unlearn) social stereotypes
Emma Young/BPS
陈明 译
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Smart people tend to perform better at work, earn more money, be physically healthier, and be less likely to subscribe to authoritarian beliefs. But a new paper reveals that a key aspect of intelligence – a strong “pattern-matching” ability, which helps someone readily learn a language, understand how another person is feeling or spot a stock market trend to exploit – has a darker side: it also makes that person more likely to learn and apply social stereotypes.

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o%HH S#V#m3Z0Previous studies exploring how a person’s cognitive abilities may affect their attitudes to other people have produced mixed results. But this might be because the questions asked in these studies were too broad.心理学空间}ZX?l0k O

[4v%S a!suv,E0以前的研究探讨了一个人的认知能力在影响对别人的态度时是如何产生了不同的结果。这种影响可能是因为,在这些研究中提出的问题过于宽泛。心理学空间9AYMc%mG]


In the new study, published in the Journal of Experimental Biology, David Lick, Adam Alter and Jonathan Freeman at New York University decided to home in on social stereotyping. “Because pattern detection is a core component of human intelligence, people with superior cognitive abilities may be equipped to efficiently learn and use stereotypes about social groups,” they theorised.


_~+w.]5l{*Nf%i0在《实验生物学》杂志上发表的这项新研究中,纽约大学的David Lick、Adam Alter和Jonathan Freeman将研究的目标对准了社会刻板印象。他们的理论是:“由于模式检查是人类智力的核心成分,具有较高认知能力的人可能会更有效地学习和利用社会刻板印象。”心理学空间w5rf#dnv$~y!]oY


To explore this, they conducted a total of six online studies involving 1,257 people recruited via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk survey website. In the first two studies, volunteers saw pictures of aliens that varied on four dimensions (colour, face shape, eye size, ears), with most of the blue aliens paired with an “unfriendly” behaviour (like “spat in another alien’s face”) and most of the yellow aliens paired with a friendly behaviour (like “gave another alien a bouquet of flowers”). The volunteers also completed items from Raven’s Advanced Progressive Matrices, which assesses pattern-matching ability.

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A subsequent memory test involved the same participants attempting to pair previously seen faces with their earlier behaviours, but there were also some new blue and yellow faces that actually they hadn’t seen before. Participants who were better at pattern-matching were more likely to attribute unfriendly behaviours to new blue aliens than to new yellow aliens – suggesting that they’d learned colour–behaviour stereotypes more readily, and applied them.心理学空间uD2Q6L$TjbdV


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ij c^3?{g6L&H0In studies three and four, volunteers were instead shown realistic pictures of male human faces. The displays were manipulated, so that most of the faces with a wide nose (for some participants) or a narrow nose (for others) were paired with negative behaviours – like “laughed and jeered at a homeless person”. Most of the faces with the other nose type were paired with friendly behaviours – like “sent flowers to someone who was sick”.心理学空间C6e5] D3b

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After viewing the faces, the volunteers played a trust game involving sharing money. They were led to believe this was an unrelated interlude in the study. Before the game began, they chose an avatar from a large group of faces to represent them online. They then played 12 rounds of what they believed was a real game, each time with a different partner who was represented by their own avatar.心理学空间4Zy.z+DG._+e

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In fact, the volunteers weren’t playing with real partners, and the experimenters manipulated the “partners’'” avatar photos, so that some had wider noses, and some had narrower noses (there were also female “partners” whose nose width did not systematically vary). The team found that volunteers who did better on the test of pattern detection gave less money to partners whose avatars had a nose width related, in the earlier trial, to unfriendly behaviour.心理学空间 v-KU3TR

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However, when these volunteers were given new information that contradicted the stereotype they had implicitly developed, the better pattern-detectors were also quicker to update their stereotype – to reverse their biases.


HX"I pV3y i0然而,当这些志愿者被赋予了与他们的内隐发展形成的刻板印象相抵触的新的信息时,更好的模式检测模式也会更快地更新他们的刻板印象——以扭转他们的偏见。心理学空间-d\yOig p

5qAo4}!Wx[b7wW0In a final experiment, the team used a real-world set of stereotypes, relating to traits they believe are often associated with men (such as being more authoritative) and with women (such as being more submissive). After counter-stereotype training – effectively being told that being authoritative is more associated with women rather than men, for example – good pattern-detectors showed a stronger decrease in stereotyping.

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“To our knowledge, these findings are the first to systematically demonstrate that cognitive ability is associated with greater stereotyping,” the researchers write, before adding, “people with superior pattern detection abilities appear to act as naive empiricists, both learning and updating their stereotypes based on incoming information.”


e1A9X8O X9z/^0“据我们所知,这些结果是第一次系统地表明,认知能力是与更强的刻板印象相关,”研究人员写道,“具有较高模式察觉能力的人似乎充当了朴素经验主义者,基于传入的信息来学习和更新自己的成见。”心理学空间W+B^ t#N


While existing research tends to focus on the benefits of intelligence, these “findings join a small body of work guiding the field toward a more balanced understanding of the consequences of human aptitudes,” they note. For example, it’s also been suggested that superior, misguided, pattern-matching may play a role in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).心理学空间!RZJ[$_7p5? q


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E"RqT*hy-J#Z9w"Ci0—Superior Pattern Detectors Efficiently Learn, Activate, Apply, and Update Social Stereotypes心理学空间D@M1w"u wD:X0EU



TAG: OCD 刻板印象
«散步可以提升你的情绪 科普
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作者: Emma Young/BPS / 682次阅读
时间: 2017年9月01日
来源: 陈明 译
标签: OCD 刻板印象
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