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Emma Young/BPS 2017-9-01
陈明 译

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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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G? JOA8v(X0Smart 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.心理学空间wAr(Umt0s


"aK lsB0Previous 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.

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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.

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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。”


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.心理学空间 ^:~QY,j{jSY/j

-|H$dx,} `'D%K:Z0为了探索刻板印象的这个作用,他们通过亚马逊“机械土耳其人”调查网站一共进行了六项在线调查,涉及了1257人。在第一个研究中,志愿者们看到的外星人图片在四个维度上进行了变化(颜色、脸型、眼睛大小、耳朵)。大部分的蓝色外星人和“不友好”的行为相匹配(如“啐另一个外星人的脸”),同时,大部分的黄色外星人和“友好”的行为相匹配(例如“送另一个陌生一束鲜花”)。志愿者们还完成了瑞文高级推理测试,该测试用来评估模式匹配的能力。

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n6`dE3P WU0A 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.


s T:kK z'd0在随后的记忆测试中,同一参与者试图将他们早期的行为和之前看到的面孔进行匹配,但也有一些他们以前确实没有见过的新的蓝色和黄色的面孔。那些比较擅长模式匹配的参与者,更倾向于把不友好的行为归因于新的蓝色外星人而不是新的黄色外星人,这表明,他们更容易学习颜色-行为模式的刻板印象,并应用它们。

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In 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 QMdXl$M'C

9t"l1sb;?0在研究三和研究四中,取而代之的是向志愿者们展示男性面孔的真实照片。显示器的图片在暗中操纵了,这使得大部分的脸型有着一个大鼻子(展现给部分参与者)或窄鼻(展现给别的人),这两种图片都和“取笑并嘲笑一个流浪汉”这样的消极行为相配。有着其他类型鼻子的其他脸型和友好的行为相匹配,如“送花给生病的人”。心理学空间 `*q P s"c:A'^Opk

,M]3_l"}5H z0After 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.

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cJ+R}1hzNr0In 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a ol P"u?5wz/t

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事实上,和志愿者一起游戏的,并不是真正的伙伴,实验者们操纵了“伙伴”的“头像”照片,一些人的鼻子更宽,一些人的鼻子更窄(还有一些“伙伴们”的鼻子宽度未作变化)。研究小组发现,那些在模式测试中得分更高的志愿者,对于先前测试中的那些有着宽鼻子的伙伴,给予了较少的钱,也就是说,对不友好行为给的钱更少。心理学空间r H?,a'Av3r H

+D0wKo%H-q0However, 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.心理学空间7Ku6?+} BN@-Y


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'f.cnxM W.D'[ BVT

R4xn(U},nRP5b0In 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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4\(_^-RHf0“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.”

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q:R6uxrqJ#]7W0While 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).

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—Superior Pattern Detectors Efficiently Learn, Activate, Apply, and Update Social Stereotypes心理学空间'GP)q6it2^


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