Accuracy, bias, self-fulfilling prophecies, and scientific self-correction

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

In my Précis of Social Perception and Social Reality (Jussim 2012, henceforth abbreviated as SPSR), I argued that the social science scholarship on social perception and interpersonal expectancies was characterized by a tripartite pattern: (1) Errors, biases, and self-fulfilling prophecies in person perception were generally weak, fragile, and fleeting; (2) Social perceptions were often quite accurate; and (3) Conclusions appearing throughout the social psychology scientific literature routinely overstated the power and pervasiveness of expectancy effects, and ignored evidence of accuracy. Most commentators concurred with the validity of these conclusions. Two, however, strongly disagreed with the conclusion that the evidence consistently has shown that stereotypes are moderately to highly accurate. Several others, while agreeing with most of the specifics, also suggested that those arguments did not necessarily apply to contexts outside of those covered in SPSR. In this response, I consider all these aspects: the limitations to the tripartite pattern, the role of politics and confirmation biases in distorting scientific conclusions, common obstructions to effective scientific self-correction, and how to limit them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere18
JournalBehavioral and Brain Sciences
Volume40
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

Fingerprint

Social Perception
Literature
Social Psychology
Social Sciences
Politics

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Physiology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Cite this

@article{7d50d83e049e409baff035534dc5e85e,
title = "Accuracy, bias, self-fulfilling prophecies, and scientific self-correction",
abstract = "In my Pr{\'e}cis of Social Perception and Social Reality (Jussim 2012, henceforth abbreviated as SPSR), I argued that the social science scholarship on social perception and interpersonal expectancies was characterized by a tripartite pattern: (1) Errors, biases, and self-fulfilling prophecies in person perception were generally weak, fragile, and fleeting; (2) Social perceptions were often quite accurate; and (3) Conclusions appearing throughout the social psychology scientific literature routinely overstated the power and pervasiveness of expectancy effects, and ignored evidence of accuracy. Most commentators concurred with the validity of these conclusions. Two, however, strongly disagreed with the conclusion that the evidence consistently has shown that stereotypes are moderately to highly accurate. Several others, while agreeing with most of the specifics, also suggested that those arguments did not necessarily apply to contexts outside of those covered in SPSR. In this response, I consider all these aspects: the limitations to the tripartite pattern, the role of politics and confirmation biases in distorting scientific conclusions, common obstructions to effective scientific self-correction, and how to limit them.",
author = "Lee Jussim",
year = "2017",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1017/S0140525X16000339",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "40",
journal = "Behavioral and Brain Sciences",
issn = "0140-525X",
publisher = "Cambridge University Press",

}

Accuracy, bias, self-fulfilling prophecies, and scientific self-correction. / Jussim, Lee.

In: Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Vol. 40, e18, 01.01.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

TY - JOUR

T1 - Accuracy, bias, self-fulfilling prophecies, and scientific self-correction

AU - Jussim, Lee

PY - 2017/1/1

Y1 - 2017/1/1

N2 - In my Précis of Social Perception and Social Reality (Jussim 2012, henceforth abbreviated as SPSR), I argued that the social science scholarship on social perception and interpersonal expectancies was characterized by a tripartite pattern: (1) Errors, biases, and self-fulfilling prophecies in person perception were generally weak, fragile, and fleeting; (2) Social perceptions were often quite accurate; and (3) Conclusions appearing throughout the social psychology scientific literature routinely overstated the power and pervasiveness of expectancy effects, and ignored evidence of accuracy. Most commentators concurred with the validity of these conclusions. Two, however, strongly disagreed with the conclusion that the evidence consistently has shown that stereotypes are moderately to highly accurate. Several others, while agreeing with most of the specifics, also suggested that those arguments did not necessarily apply to contexts outside of those covered in SPSR. In this response, I consider all these aspects: the limitations to the tripartite pattern, the role of politics and confirmation biases in distorting scientific conclusions, common obstructions to effective scientific self-correction, and how to limit them.

AB - In my Précis of Social Perception and Social Reality (Jussim 2012, henceforth abbreviated as SPSR), I argued that the social science scholarship on social perception and interpersonal expectancies was characterized by a tripartite pattern: (1) Errors, biases, and self-fulfilling prophecies in person perception were generally weak, fragile, and fleeting; (2) Social perceptions were often quite accurate; and (3) Conclusions appearing throughout the social psychology scientific literature routinely overstated the power and pervasiveness of expectancy effects, and ignored evidence of accuracy. Most commentators concurred with the validity of these conclusions. Two, however, strongly disagreed with the conclusion that the evidence consistently has shown that stereotypes are moderately to highly accurate. Several others, while agreeing with most of the specifics, also suggested that those arguments did not necessarily apply to contexts outside of those covered in SPSR. In this response, I consider all these aspects: the limitations to the tripartite pattern, the role of politics and confirmation biases in distorting scientific conclusions, common obstructions to effective scientific self-correction, and how to limit them.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85016180195&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85016180195&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1017/S0140525X16000339

DO - 10.1017/S0140525X16000339

M3 - Review article

C2 - 28327222

AN - SCOPUS:85016180195

VL - 40

JO - Behavioral and Brain Sciences

JF - Behavioral and Brain Sciences

SN - 0140-525X

M1 - e18

ER -