A COMPARISON OF METHODOLOGIES FOR UNCOVERING THE STRUCTURE OF RACIAL STEREOTYPE SUBGROUPING

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Abstract:

Our goal was to initiate a series of explorations of the techniques used to investigate person perception and stereotypes. More specifically, do different techniques uncover the same, and assumedly correct, underlying cognitive structure of the perceivers or is our current understanding of social cognition merely a reflection of our data collection and analytic techniques? We also hoped to draw some conclusions concerning White participants' perceptions of Blacks. Participants were given two tasks. One task involved sorting fourteen racial type labels and rating the sorted piles on four scales (e.g., respectable-not respectable). The second task involved generating attributes that described a randomly selected racial type. Both tasks provided data that could be used as input for multidimensional-scaling and hierarchical-clustering analyses. Further, the data from the adjective-generation task was used as input for a discriminant-function analysis. It was predicted that the different data collection and analysis tasks would produce results that emphasized the importance of evaluation in racialtype perception but that the sorting task would reveal more prejudice against Black targets. The results supported the hypotheses.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2002.30.7.709

Publication date: January 1, 2002

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