ERIC Number: ED147435
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-Jul
Reference Count: 0
On the Self-Fulfilling Nature of Social Stereotypes.
This paper explores the cognitive and behavioral consequences of our impressions of other people in the context of social stereotypes. Social stereotypes are a special case of interpersonal perception. Though they are usually simple and overgeneralized, many social stereotypes concern highly visible and distinctive personal characteristics, such as sex and race. These pieces of information are usually the first to be noticed in social interaction and can gain high priority for channeling subsequent information processing and interaction. As such, social stereotypes may be used to consider the cognitive and behavioral consequences of person perception. These stereotypes may influence information processing that serves to bolster and strengthen them. Stereotype-based beliefs may serve as grounds for predictions about the target's future behavior and may guide and influence the perceiver's interactions with the target. In this way, social stereotypes may create their own reality by channeling interaction in ways that cause the stereotyped individual to behaviorally confirm the perceiver's stereotype. The author describes an experiment designed to test this behavioral confirmation hypothesis. Because of the implications of the self-fulfilling effects of social stereotypes upon social interaction, the study of these stereotypes becomes important to social psychology. (Author/GC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Note: Paper prepared for presentation at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (San Francisco, California, 1977)