Social Perception and
Social Reality: Why Accuracy Dominates Bias and Self-Fulfilling Prophecy.
Lee Jussim, Rutgers University.
Published by Oxford University Press.
To purchase via Oxford University
purchase via Amazon.com, click here.
a review appearing in Psychology Central
out more, including links to the table of contents, intro chapter, and
abstracts and excerpts, click here.
FROM OXFORD'S SYNOPSIS:
Social Perception and Social Reality
contests the received wisdom in the field of social psychology that
suggests that social perception and judgment are generally flawed,
biased, and powerfully self-fulfilling. Jussim reviews a wealth of real
world, survey, and experimental data collected over the last century to
show that in fact, social psychological research consistently
demonstrates that biases and self-fulfilling prophecies are generally
weak, fragile, and fleeting. Furthermore, research in the social
sciences has shown stereotypes to be accurate.
Jussim overturns the received wisdom concerning social perception in
several ways. He critically reviews studies that are highly cited
darlings of the bias conclusion and shows how these studies demonstrate
far more accuracy than bias, or are not replicable in subsequent
research. Studies of equal or higher quality, which have been
replicated consistently, are shown to demonstrate high accuracy, low
bias, or both. The book is peppered with discussions suggesting that
theoretical and political blinders have led to an odd state of affairs
in which the flawed or misinterpreted bias studies receive a great deal
of attention, while stronger and more replicable accuracy studies
receive relatively little attention. In addition, the author presents
both personal and real world examples (such as stock market prices,
sporting events, and political elections) that routinely undermine
heavy-handed emphases on error and bias, but are generally indicative
of high levels of rationality and accuracy. He fully embraces
scientific data, even when that data yields unpopular conclusions or
contests prevailing conventions or the received wisdom in psychology,
in other social sciences, and in broader society.
Keywords: Social psychology,
social perception, person perception, bias, self-fulfilling prophecies,
expectancies, interpersonal expectations, teacher