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Emma Young/BPS 2017-9-01
陈明 译

More intelligent people are quicker to learn (and unlearn) social stereotypes
Emma Young/BPS
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o T\#XLQxz*^ SQ0Smart 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i{F-d|j

e!n} c!F&s4z0聪明的人在工作中表现更好,挣更多的钱,身体更健康,他们也不太可能同意独裁者的信仰。但一个新的研究表明了智力的一个重要面向。聪明的人有强大的“模式匹配”的能力,这种能力可以帮助人们轻松地学习语言,了解另一个人的感觉,或者发现股票市场的趋势并加以利用。同时,这种能力也有黑暗的一面:这也使得人更容易学习和运用社会刻板印象。心理学空间2z2G0m*|o*T

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Previous 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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piv6N0wv0In 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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)d i4S[iH |@~x%d0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2Lv*`Jj%zew']

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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OQ W9yFbG



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+xb;WoF#S2WiJ



9r(v"_ H'V0In 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”.



-FTHZ wa?0After 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.



.R QyO.H {+N0In 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sH~KN0? `(W

Xx[4x8mxeW0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'G ? TG vZ%e-r

$TOB5]7h0However, 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%`)C]D,fj(Evvx


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In 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.


在最后一个实验中,研究小组使用了一套真实的刻板印象,他们认为这项刻板印象通常与男性的特质(如更具权威性)和女性的特质(如更顺从)有关。在反定型训练之后——有效地告知权威更多的与女性相关,而不是男性——举例来说,更好的模式觉察者在刻板印象的减弱中表现得更强。心理学空间ns![&T Sm2m

nRXd hW]r5Y0“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.”心理学空间x_V&yhY rn



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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).

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—Superior Pattern Detectors Efficiently Learn, Activate, Apply, and Update Social Stereotypes心理学空间"K5S3F{r;H,Q7[/c


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