Will Stereotype for Food

Are stereotypes true? bad? good? What the...? I found the following blog in Pyschology Today by Satoshi Kanazawa that helps define what a stereotype is. What do you think? - Deborah

In Psychology Today magazine, published on April 24, 2008 by Satoshi Kanazawa in his The Scientific Fundamentalist blog, and under the title: "All stereotypes are true, except... I: What are stereotypes?
What are stereotypes and are they bad?" says:

“Stereotypes” have a bad name, and everybody hates stereotypes. But what exactly is a stereotype?

What people call “stereotypes” are what scientists call “empirical generalizations,” and they are the foundation of scientific theory. That’s what scientists do; they make generalizations. Many stereotypes are empirical generalizations with a statistical basis and thus on average tend to be true. If they are not true, they wouldn’t be stereotypes. The only problem with stereotypes and empirical generalizations is that they are not always true for all individual cases. They are generalizations, not invariant laws. There are always individual exceptions to stereotypes and empirical generalizations. The danger lies in applying the empirical generalizations to individual cases, which may or may not be exceptions. But these individual exceptions do not invalidate the generalizations."

"Stereotypes and empirical generalizations are neither good nor bad, desirable nor undesirable, moral nor immoral. They just are. Stereotypes do not tell us how to behave or treat other people (or groups of people). Stereotypes are observations about the empirical world, not behavioral prescriptions. One may not infer how to treat people from empirical observations about them. Stereotypes tell us what groups of people tend to be or do in general; they do not tell us how we ought to treat them. Once again, there is no place for “ought” in science.

He also points out that "As empirical generalizations borne of the observations and experiences of millions of individuals, most stereotypes are on the whole true. If they are not true, they cannot survive long as stereotypes. Nonetheless, theory and research in evolutionary psychology have overturned a few stereotypes and shown them to be false.For some reason that I cannot quite fathom, all the stereotypes that have been shown to be false so far have to do with people’s physical appearances."

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Deborah's picture
Deborah says:

posted on Wed, 11/02/2011 - 1:06pm
Deborah's picture
Deborah says:

I'm new at this. Unfortunately I can't get the really cool photo to upload into this blog. You can find it here:

posted on Wed, 11/02/2011 - 1:07pm
mdr's picture
mdr says:

Deborah - I'm concerned you may not have permission to use the photo. But maybe I'm wrong. Did the copyright owner give you permission to use the photo on the Science Buzz? If you have permission, we like to post the owner's name (i.e. Photo courtesy Mr. Whomever). If you have clearance let me know who the owner is and I'll load it up and add it to your post for you.

posted on Wed, 11/02/2011 - 3:38pm

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