The Atlantic: Warning! Intelligence Can Lead to ‘Pattern Detection,’ Which Is Racist

PHOTO: Steve Lazarides / Reuters

By Steve Sailer | 30 July 2017

THE UNZ REVIEW — From The Atlantic:

How Intelligence Leads to Stereotyping
A new study complicates the trope of the stupid bigot.


… Racists stereotype other people, for the most part, but there are also stereotypes about racists. And the stereotype about racists is that, well, they’re kind of dumb.

But a new study complicates the narrative that only unintelligent people are prejudiced. The paper, published recently in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, suggests smart people are actually more at risk of stereotyping others.

The study consisted of a series of experiments, all of which suggested that people who performed better on a test of pattern detection—a measure of cognitive ability—were also quicker to form and apply stereotypes.

First, researchers from New York University showed 271 participants a series of pictures of red, blue, and yellow cartoon aliens with different facial features, paired with a statement of either a nice behavior (“gave another alien a bouquet of flowers”) or a rude one (“spat in another alien’s face”):

… The subjects didn’t know if the statements about the aliens were true or false. In this way, the study tried to mimic how people actually form prejudices about certain groups, like through anecdotes in the media or through portrayals in TV shows.

Or by reading articles in The Atlantic reporting social science findings, as I’ve been doing since 1972. […]

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