Article

Testimonial injustice and prescriptive credibility deficits

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the author.

Abstract

In light of recent social psychological literature, I expand Miranda Fricker’s important notion of testimonial injustice. A fair portion of Fricker’s account rests on an older paradigm of stereotype and prejudice. Given recent empirical work, I argue for what I dub prescriptive credibility deficits in which a backlash effect leads to the assignment of a diminished level of credibility to persons who act in counter-stereotypic manners, thereby flouting prescriptive stereotypes. The notion of a prescriptive credibility deficit is not merely an interesting conceptual addendum that can be appended to Fricker’s theory without need for further emendation. I develop the wider implications of prescriptive credibility deficits and argue that they pose a challenge to Fricker’s conception of (1) the function of credibility assignments in conversational exchange and (2) how a virtuous listener should respond to the potential threat of a prejudicial stereotype affecting her credibility assignments.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the author.

... Recently, discussions of testimonial injustice have also entered the literature on social cognition and folk psychology (Burroughs and Tollefsen 2016;Munroe 2016;Buckwalter 2018;Spaulding 2018a, b;Saegert 2019). Most philosophical and psychological discussions regarding how we understand others are concerned with our attributions of beliefs and desires in order to predict and explain behavior. ...
Article
Full-text available
Testimonial injustices occur when individuals from particular social groups are systematically and persistently given less credibility in their claims merely because of their group identity. Recent “pluralistic” approaches to folk psychology, by taking into account the role of stereotypes in how we understand others, have the power to explain how and why cases of testimonial injustice occur. If how we make sense of others’ behavior depends on assumptions about how individuals from certain groups think and act, this can explain why speakers are given different degrees of credibility depending on their group identity. For example, if people assume that women are more emotional than men (and they consider that emotionality hinders credibility), they will systematically give less credibility to women’s claims. This explanation involves three empirical claims: (1) people assume that women are more emotional than men, (2) people assume that emotionality hinders credibility, and (3) people give less credibility to women’s claims. While extant studies provide some support for (1) and (2), no study to date has directly tested (3). In two different studies, we tested all these three claims. The results from both studies provide support for (2), as we found significant negative correlations between emotionality and credibility attributions. However, in contrast to what some accounts of folk psychology posit, we did not find any significant difference in people’s attributions of emotionality and credibility towards women versus men speakers. We hope that our studies here pave the way for further empirical studies testing the phenomenon of testimonial injustice in a context-sensitive way, in order to have a better understanding of the conditions in which testimonial injustices are likely to happen.
... In line with previous studies our findings show that providers need to be aware that cumulative actions of silencing or trusting may affect later interactions (e.g., a service user withdraws and avoids communication) [24]. Munroe [27] draws attention to the prescriptive function of testimonial injustice, noting how a speaker can be assigned with what he labels prescriptive credibility deficits. This occurs when there is a risk of a person being punished if behaving in a counter-stereotypic way, as, for example, when a service user is assigned less credibility or likeability as a consequence of acting in an overly assertive manner. ...
Article
Full-text available
The experience-based knowledge of users is considered to provide vital input in shared decision making (SDM). However, mental health service users frequently express having negative experiences from meetings with providers, which are of an epistemic nature (e.g., being ignored or not regarded as credible). This study aimed to explore the barriers involved in legitimizing user knowledge in decision-making processes. Interview data from service users and providers were viewed from a theoretic framework of epistemic injustice. Abductive content analysis was conducted on data collected during a project to develop and implement SDM in mental health services. In describing obstacles to legitimize user knowledge, service users highlighted relational issues: being dependent, often dismissed and choosing to edit their testimonies. Service providers typically described workflow issues, users’ insufficient decision- making competence and users’ vulnerability to stress factors. The findings suggest that greater epistemic justice might be achieved by a SDM process in which the service user is engaged as a full partner in collaboration in various activities related to their care.
... In line with previous studies our findings show that providers need to be aware that cumulative actions of silencing or trusting may affect later interactions (e.g., a service user withdraws and avoids communication) [24]. Munroe [27] draws attention to the prescriptive function of testimonial injustice, noting how a speaker can be assigned with what he labels prescriptive credibility deficits. This occurs when there is a risk of a person being punished if behaving in a counter-stereotypic way, as, for example, when a service user is assigned less credibility or likeability as a consequence of acting in an overly assertive manner. ...
... In line with previous studies our findings show that providers need to be aware that cumulative actions of silencing or trusting may affect later interactions (e.g., a service user withdraws and avoids communication) [24]. Munroe [27] draws attention to the prescriptive function of testimonial injustice, noting how a speaker can be assigned with what he labels prescriptive credibility deficits. This occurs when there is a risk of a person being punished if behaving in a counter-stereotypic way, as, for example, when a service user is assigned less credibility or likeability as a consequence of acting in an overly assertive manner. ...
Article
Full-text available
The experience-based knowledge of users is considered to provide vital input in shared decision making (SDM). However, mental health service users frequently express having negative experiences from meetings with providers, which are of an epistemic nature (e.g., being ignored or not regarded as credible). This study aimed to explore the barriers involved in legitimizing user knowledge in decision-making processes. Interview data from service users and providers were viewed from a theoretic framework of epistemic injustice. Abductive content analysis was conducted on data collected during a project to develop and implement SDM in mental health services. In describing obstacles to legitimize user knowledge, service users highlighted relational issues: being dependent, often dismissed and choosing to edit their testimonies. Service providers typically described workflow issues, users’ insufficient decision-making competence and users’ vulnerability to stress factors. The findings suggest that greater epistemic justice might be achieved by a SDM process in which the service user is engaged as a full partner in collaboration in various activities related to their care.
... [8] Munroe (2016) differentiates two subtypes of testimonial injustice: a) Descriptive credibility deficit, or lowering of credibility because of a negative identity prejudice. b) Prescriptive credibility deficit, or lowering of credibility because a prescriptive stereotype establishing what ought to be done in a context is thought to be flouted. ...
Article
Full-text available
When engaging in verbal communication, we do not simply use language to dispense information, but also to perform a plethora of actions, some of which depend on conventionalised, recurrent linguistic structures. Additionally, we must be skilled enough to arrive at the speaker's intended meaning. However, speakers' performance may deviate from certain habits and expectations concerning the way(s) of speaking or accomplishing actions, while various factors may hinder comprehension, which may give rise to misappraisals of their respective abilities and capacities as competent language users. This paper discusses whether such misappraisals may be subsumed by any of the already identified types of epistemic injustice and proposes a new label for them. It also describes the consequences of those misappraisals and approaches their origins from a cognitive perspective.
Article
People who have mental health diagnoses are often subject to sanist microaggressions in which pejorative terms to describe mental illness are used to represent that which is discreditable. Such microaggressions reflect and perpetrate stigma against severe mental illness, often held unconsciously as implicit bias. In this article, I examine the sanist attitudes that underlie sanist microaggressions, analyzing some of the cognitive biases that support mental illness stigma. Then I consider what responsibility we have with respect to microaggressions. I argue that all people share in a collective responsibility to engage in acts of epistemic resistance that challenge sanist attitudes so that it is easier for bystanders who witness microaggressions, and targets of microaggressions in particular, to identify microaggressions and to point out biased behavior. The act of pointing out bias is best understood as an act of epistemic resistance that is more effective and meaningful in the context of other acts of epistemic resistance. Ultimately, whether to point out bias is an individual decision that one must make after weighing the risks involved; engaging in a range of acts of epistemic resistance, on the other hand, is a moral responsibility everyone shares.
Article
In this paper I argue that there are possible cases in which the demands of justice and the norms of epistemology cannot be simultaneously satisfied. I will bring out these normative clashes in terms of the now-familiar phenomenon of testimonial injustice (Fricker 2007). While the resulting argument is very much in the spirit of two other sorts of argument that have received sustained attention recently – arguments alleging epistemic partiality in friendship, and arguments that motivate the hypothesis of moral encroachment on the epistemic – I suggest how the argument from epistemic injustice differs from, and is stronger than, both of those arguments. The implications of the present argument are several: we must (i) reconceive the role of identity-prejudice in testimonial injustice, (ii) modify the way we think about how justice and epistemology bear on testimonial transactions, and (iii) understand the mutuality of speech exchanges in ways that do not privilege any particular participant’s epistemic perspective.
Article
Eyewitness testimony is a powerful form of evidence, and this is especially true in the United States criminal legal system. At the same time, eyewitness misidentification is the greatest contributing factor to wrongful convictions proven by DNA testing. In this paper, I offer a close examination of this tension between the enormous epistemic weight that eyewitness testimony is afforded in the United States criminal legal system and the fact that there are important questions about its reliability as a source of evidence. In Sections 1 and 2, I argue that lineups and interrogations often function by way of extracting testimony from an eyewitness through practices that are manipulative, deceptive, or coercive. I then show, in Section 3, that when testimony that is extracted in these ways is given an unwarranted excess of credibility, the eyewitness in question is the victim of what I call agential testimonial injustice. I conclude that since much of the testimony of eyewitnesses is both extracted and given an excess of credibility, there is a fairly widespread form of epistemic injustice being inflicted upon testifiers in the United States criminal legal system. This calls for reforms along both dimensions—lineups and interrogations should go through a witness's epistemic agency, rather than bypassing, exploiting, or undermining it, and the weight of the resulting testimony should be viewed in the broader context of its significant fallibility.
Chapter
What is the norm governing our credibility assessments of others? According to Miranda Fricker, the answer is “obvious”: we should match the level of credibility attributed to others to the evidence that they are offering the truth. In this paper, I will show that this evidentialist norm of credibility assessments is seriously wanting. In particular, I will identify and develop two kinds of testimonial injustice, which I call distributive and normative, and argue that this norm is fundamentally incapable of ruling them out. Finally, I will develop and defend an alternative norm—what I call the Wide Norm of Credibility—that not only avoids the problems afflicting the evidentialist version, but also makes vivid both the relational and normative dimensions of our credibility assessments.
Chapter
Full-text available
Terror management theory posits that human awareness of the inevitability of death exerts a profound influence on diverse aspects of human thought, emotion, motivation, and behavior. People manage the potential for anxiety that results from this awareness by maintaining: (1) faith in the absolute validity of their cultural worldviews and (2) self-esteem by living up to the standards of value that are part of their worldviews. In this chapter, we take stock of the past 30 years of research and conceptual development inspired by this theory. After a brief review of evidence supporting the theory's fundamental propositions, we discuss extensions of the theory to shed light on: (1) the psychological mechanisms through which thoughts of death affect subsequent thought and behavior; (2) how the anxiety-buffering systems develop over childhood and beyond; (3) how awareness of death influenced the evolution of mind, culture, morality, and religion; (4) how death concerns lead people to distance from their physical bodies and seek solace in concepts of mind and spirit; and (5) the role of death concerns in maladaptive and pathological behavior. We also consider various criticisms of the theory and alternative conceptualizations that have been proposed. We conclude with a discussion of what we view as the most pressing issues for further research and theory development that have been inspired by the theory's first 30 years.
Article
Full-text available
A refined model of sex-role spillover theory (SRST), which posits a role for gender subtypes and harasser motivations in understanding perceptions of sexual harassment, is tested. Fifty male and 61 female undergraduates were asked to assess female targets on stereotypic characteristics, and to make attributions of harasser motivations for six scenarios describing three types of harassment (unwanted sexual attention, gender harassment, sexual coercion) at two levels of severity (nonphysical and physical) toward women in two different types of occupations (traditional and nontraditional). As predicted, scenarios about traditionally and nontraditionally employed female targets elicited different gender subtypes and different attributions of harasser motivations, depending on the type of sexual harassment experienced. Theoretical implications of this research are discussed.
Article
Full-text available
In Epistemic injustice, Miranda Fricker makes a tremendous contribution to theorizing the intersection of social epistemology with theories of justice. Theories of justice often take as their object of assessment either interpersonal transactions (specific exchanges between persons) or particular institutions. They may also take a more comprehensive perspective in assessing systems of institutions. This systemic perspective may enable control of the cumulative effects of millions of individual transactions that cannot be controlled at the individual or institutional levels. This is true not only with respect to the overall distribution of such goods as income and wealth, but also with respect to the goods of testimonial and hermeneutical justice. Cognitive biases that may be difficult for even epistemically virtuous individuals to correct on their own may be more susceptible to correction if we focus on the principles that should govern our systems of testimonial gathering and assessment. Hence, while Fricker’s focus on individual epistemic virtue is important, we also need to consider what epistemic justice as a virtue of social systems would require. My paper will indicate some directions forward on this front, focusing on the need for integration of diverse institutions and persons engaged in inquiry.
Article
Full-text available
Dramatic forms of discrimination, such as lynching, property destruction, and hate crimes, are widely understood to be consequences of prejudicial hostility. This article focuses on what has heretofore been only an infrequent countertheme in scientific work on discrimination-that favoritism toward ingroups can be responsible for much discrimination. We extend this counterthesis to the strong conclusion that ingroup favoritism is plausibly more significant as a basis for discrimination in contemporary American society than is outgroup-directed hostility. This conclusion has implications for theory, research methods, and practical remedies. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
Article
Full-text available
Attitude theory is used to provide a conceptual analysis of how attitudes toward men and women relate to gender stereotypes. Consistent with this analysis, attitudes toward the sexes related positively to the evaluative meaning of the corresponding gender stereo-types. In addition, attitudes and stereotypes about women were extremely favorable - in fact, more favorable than those about men. The findings also demonstrated that the Attitudes Toward Women Scale assesses attitudes toward equal rights for women not attitudes toward women, and therefore did not relate to the evaluative meaning of subjects' stereotypes about women.
Article
Full-text available
In contemporary research, attitudes toward women appear to be more positive than those toward men in samples of US and Canadian university students, and the evaluative content of the female stereotype is more favorable than the evaluative content of the male stereotype. These research findings on attitudes and stereotypes are compared with the findings of Goldberg-paradigm experiments on judgments of women's and men's competence, which are commonly thought to reflect people's attitudes and stereotypes. Although research on competence judgments has not shown a pervasive tendency to devalue women's work, it has demonstrated prejudice against women in masculine domains (e.g. male-dominated jobs, male-stereotypic behavior). This targeted form of prejudice is consistent with the generally more favorable evaluation of women than men obtained in attitude and stereotype studies because this positive evaluation derives primarily from the ascription to women of nice, nurturant, communal characteristics, which people think qualify individuals for the domestic role as well as for low-status, low-paying female-dominated jobs. Women's experiences of gender discrimination and feminist protests concerning a contemporary backlash against women reflect women's inroads into traditionally masculine arenas, especially their efforts to gain access to high-status, high-paying male-dominated jobs, which are thought to require characteristics stereotypically ascribed to men.
Article
Full-text available
How does the monitoring of a testifier's credibility by recipients of testimony bear upon the epistemic licence accruing to a recipient's belief in the testifier's communications? According to an intuitive and philosophically influential conception, licensed acceptance of testimony requires that recipients of testimony monitor testifiers with respect to their credibility. I argue that this conception, however, proves to be untenable when confronted with the wealth of empirical evidence bearing on the ways in which testifiers and their interlocutors actually interact.
Article
Full-text available
The questions the authors address in this chapter can be traced over two decades of work by J. T. Spence and her colleagues. More than any other single researcher, Spence has sought to establish the content of beliefs about women, to determine whether these beliefs are merely descriptions of women or prescriptions for how women ought to be, and to document what has changed and what has remained the same in attitudes toward women across decades of social turmoil in male–female relations. This article addresses the issue of whether gender stereotypes are purely descriptive expectations or prescriptions that are enforced through punishment when they are violated. Implicit in the question is the notion that "feminine" women are seen as very likable but as less competent than men. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Full-text available
The authors discussed the ways in which the distinction between the descriptive and prescriptive components of gender stereotypes may provide a context for thinking about the role of gender stereotyping in sex discrimination and sexual harassment They reviewed the research literature involving the descriptive and prescriptive components of gender stereotypes, with particular emphasis on research published since the American Psychological Association's 1991 amicus brief in Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins (1989). They suggested that incidents of sex discrimination that involve disparate treatment are more likely to reflect the prescriptive component of gender stereotypes and that incidents of sex discrimination that result in disparate impact are more likely to reflect the descriptive component. The authors discussed the implications of this distinction for sex discrimination and sexual harassment litigation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Full-text available
If stereotypes function to protect people against death-related concerns, then mortality salience should increase stereotypic thinking and preferences for stereotype-confirming individuals. Study 1 demonstrated that mortality salience increased stereotyping of Germans. In Study 2, it increased participants' tendency to generate more explanations for stereotype-inconsistent than stereotype-consistent gender role behavior. In Study 3, mortality salience increased participants' liking for a stereotype-consistent African American and decreased their liking for a stereotype-inconsistent African American; control participants exhibited the opposite preference. Study 4 replicated this pattern with evaluations of stereotype-confirming or stereotype-disconfirming men and women. Study 5 showed that, among participants high in need for closure, mortality salience led to decreased liking for a stereotype-inconsistent gay man. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Full-text available
Research in the psychology of deception detection implies that Fricker, in making her case for reductionism in the epistemology of testimony, overestimates both the epistemic demerits of the antireductionist policy of trusting speakers blindly and the epistemic merits of the reductionist policy of monitoring speakers for trustworthiness: folk psychological prejudices to the contrary notwithstanding, it turns out that monitoring is on a par (in terms both of the reliability of the process and of the sensitivity of the beliefs that it produces) with blind trust. The consequence is that while (a version of) Fricker’s argument for the necessity of a reduction succeeds, her argument for the availability of reductions fails. This does not, however, condemn us to endorse standard pessimistic reductionism, according to which there is no testimonial knowledge, for recent research concerning the methods used by subjects to discover deception in non-laboratory settings suggests that only a more moderate form of pessimism is in order.
Article
A role congruity theory of prejudice toward female leaders proposes that perceived incongruity between the female gender role and leadership roles leads to 2 forms of prejudice: (a) perceiving women less favorably than men as potential occupants of leadership roles and (b) evaluating behavior that fulfills the prescriptions of a leader role less favorably when it is enacted by a woman. One consequence is that attitudes are less positive toward female than male leaders and potential leaders. Other consequences are that it is more difficult for women to become leaders and to achieve success in leadership roles. Evidence from varied research paradigms substantiates that these consequences occur, especially in situations that heighten perceptions of incongruity between the female gender role and leadership roles.
Book
On the Nature of Prejudice commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Gordon Allport's classic work on prejudice and discrimination by examining the current state of knowledge in the field. A distinguished collection of international scholars considers Allport's impact on the field, reviews recent developments, and identifies promising directions for future investigation. Organized around Allport's central themes, this book provides a state-of-the-art, comprehensive view of where the field has been, where it is now, and where it is going.
Article
Justice is one of the oldest and most central themes of philosophy, but sometimes we would do well to focus instead on injustice. In epistemology, the very idea that there is a first-order ethical dimension to our epistemic practices - the idea that there is such a thing as epistemic justice - remains obscure until we adjust the philosophical lens so that we see through to the negative space that is epistemic injustice. This book argues that there is a distinctively epistemic genus of injustice, in which someone is wronged specifically in their capacity as a knower, wronged therefore in a capacity essential to human value. The book identifies two forms of epistemic injustice: testimonial injustice and hermeneutical injustice. In doing so, it charts the ethical dimension of two fundamental epistemic practices: gaining knowledge by being told and making sense of our social experiences. As the account unfolds, the book travels through a range of philosophical problems. Thus, the book finds an analysis of social power; an account of prejudicial stereotypes; a characterization of two hybrid intellectual-ethical virtues; a revised account of the State of Nature used in genealogical explanations of the concept of knowledge; a discussion of objectification and 'silencing'; and a framework for a virtue epistemological account of testimony. The book reveals epistemic injustice as a potent yet largely silent dimension of discrimination, analyses the wrong it perpetrates, and constructs two hybrid ethical-intellectual virtues of epistemic justice which aim to forestall it.
Chapter
The expression ‘testimony’ in everyday usage in English is confined to reports by witnesses or by experts given in a courtroom, or other formal setting. But in analytic philosophy the expression is used as a label for the process by which knowledge or belief is gained from understanding and believing the spoken or written reports of others generally, regardless of setting. In a modern society testimony thus broadly understood is one of the main sources of belief. Very many of an individual’s beliefs are gained second-hand: from personal communication, from all sorts of purportedly factual books, from written records of many kinds, and from newspapers, television and the internet. Testimony enables the diffusion of current news, information (or misinformation), opinion and gossip throughout a community with a shared language. It also enables the preservation and passing on of our accumulated heritage of knowledge and belief: in history, geography, the sciences, technology, etc. We would be almost unimaginably epistemically impoverished, without the resources provided by testimony in its various forms.
Chapter
Backlash refers to social and economic penalties for counterstereotypical behavior (Rudman, 1998). By penalizing vanguards (atypical role models), backlash reinforces cultural stereotypes as normative rules. We present the Backlash and Stereotype Maintenance Model (BSMM), supported by studies of gender and racial vanguards (Phelan and Rudman, 2010a, Phelan and Rudman, 2010b and Rudman and Fairchild, 2004). The BSSM illuminates when and why backlash occurs, as well as its effects on potential targets. We provide evidence for the Status Incongruity Hypothesis, which posits that targets who violate status expectations are especially likely to suffer backlash because system-justification motives play a key role in backlash (Moss-Racusin et al., 2010 and Rudman et al., 2012). The Backlash Avoidance Model describes how fear of backlash not only limits people's aspirations but also undermines their performance in atypical domains (Moss-Racusin, 2011 and Moss-Racusin and Rudman, 2010). Finally, we discuss how advances in backlash theory might guide future research.
Article
This paper defends a contextualist approach to epistemic injustice according to which instances of such injustice should be looked at as temporally extended phenomena (having developmental and historical trajectories) and socially extended phenomena (being rooted in patterns of social relations). Within this contextualist framework, credibility excesses appear as a form of undeserved epistemic privilege that is crucially relevant for matters of testimonial justice. While drawing on Miranda Fricker's proportional view of epistemic justice, I take issue with its lack of attention to the role that credibility excesses play in testimonial injustices. I depart from Fricker's view of the relation between credibility excesses and credibility deficits, and I offer an alternative account of the contributions that undeserved epistemic privileges make to epistemic injustices. Then, through the detailed analysis of To kill a mockingbird, I elucidate the crucial role played by the social imaginary in creating and sustaining epistemic injustices, developing an analysis of the kind of social blindness produced by an oppressive social imaginary that establishes unjust patterns of credibility excesses and deficits.
Article
The idea that people can entertain propositions without believing them is widespread, intuitive, and most probably false. The main goal of this essay is to argue against the claim that people can entertain a proposition without believing it. Evidence is presented demonstrating that we cannot withhold assent from any proposition we happen to consider. A model of belief fixation is then sketched and used to explain hitherto disparate, recalcitrant and somewhat mysterious psychological phenomena. The proposed model is one where beliefs are the automatic output of a computationally null belief acquisition reflex. In short, the model holds that the mere activation of a mentally represented truth apt proposition leads to immediately believing it. The essay concludes by considering some consequences that the proposed model of belief acquisition has for our concept of rationality.
Article
Source characteristics of expertise (high, low, or no information) and physical attractiveness (high, low, or no photograph) were varied in a 3 x 3 factorial design to examine their effects on the opinion agreement of female adolescents. As expected, opinion agreement was greater for (1) the physically attractive source than for the non-differing unattractive or unpictured sources and (2) the high expert than for the nondiffering low expert or the source about whom no information was given. The nondiffering attractive and unpictured sources were liked more than the unattractive source. Implications for social influence theories are discussed.
Article
In an experiment in which male and female respondents evaluated the social category of women or men on several types of measures, analysis of respondents' attitudes toward the sexes and of the evaluative content of their beliefs established that they evaluated women more favorably than men. In addition, analysis of respondents' emotional reactions toward women and men did not yield evidence of negativity toward women at the emotional level. Nor did it appear that respondents' very positive evaluations of women masked ambivalence toward them. This research, therefore, provides strong evidence that women are evaluated quite favorably—in fact, more favorably than men.
Article
Stereotypes are false or misleading generalizations about groups held in a manner that renders them largely, though not entirely, immune to counterevidence. In doing so, stereotypes powerfully shape the stereotyper's perception of stereotyped groups, seeing the stereotypic characteristics when they are not present, failing to see the contrary of those characteristics when they are, and generally homogenizing the group. A stereotyper associates a certain characteristic with the stereotyped group—for example Blacks with being athletic—but may do so with a form of cognitive investment in that association that does not rise to the level of a belief in the generalization that Blacks are athletic.
Article
The purpose of this study is to determine the impact of biological sex as a nonverbal indicator of status on the use of information in a decision-making group. Drawing on status characteristics theory, this article posits that the sex of the group member who introduces a piece of information into discussion affects the likelihood of the information's use in making a decision. More specifically, the author hypothesizes that information introduced by males has a higher probability of use than information introduced by females. The results of the statistical analyses support the hypothesis. Furthermore, if the information is known to all members of the group before discussion, the sex of the group member who introduces it in the discussion has less impact on its use than if the information is unique to one member
Article
Can people comprehend assertions without believing them? Descartes (1644/1984) suggested that people can and should, whereas Spinoza (1677/1982) suggested that people should but cannot. Three experiments support the hypothesis that comprehension includes an initial belief in the information comprehended. Ss were exposed to false information about a criminal defendant (Experiments 1 and 2) or a college student (Experiment 3). Some Ss were exposed to this information while under load (Experiments 1 and 2) or time pressure (Experiment 3). Ss made judgments about the target (sentencing decisions or liking judgments). Both load and time pressure caused Ss to believe the false information and to use it in making consequential decisions about the target. In Spinozan terms, both manipulations prevented Ss from "unbelieving" the false information they automatically believed during comprehension.
Article
Ordinary moral thought often commits what social psychologists call 'the fundamental attribution error'. This is the error of ignoring situational factors and overconfidently assuming that distinctive behaviour or patterns of behaviour are due to an agent's distinctive character traits. In fact, there is no evidence that people have character traits (virtues, vices, etc.) in the relevant sense. Since attribution of character traits leads to much evil, we should try to educate ourselves and others to stop doing it.
Article
Presents the amicus brief contributed by the American Psychological Association in a discrimination case to inform the Court of scientific thought regarding stereotyping (STP), particularly as it affects judgments of women in work settings. The argument addresses 4 points: (1) empirical research on sex STP over many decades is generally accepted in the scientific community; (2) STP under certain conditions can create discriminatory consequences for stereotyped groups, including women; (3) the conditions that promote STP were present in petitioner's work setting; and (4) although petitioner was found to have taken no effective steps to prevent its discriminatory STP of respondent, methods are available to monitor and reduce the effects of STP. The amicus concludes that the adverse consequences suffered by the respondent were the natural and foreseeable outcome of the petitioner's conduct. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Participants viewed a videotape of either a male or female confederate delivering a persuasive message using a high task, social, submissive, or dominant nonverbal style. Participants were influenced more after viewing the social and task styles than the dominant or submissive styles. Participants liked task and social confederates more than dominant confederates and considered submissive confederates to be less competent than the other 3 styles. Although both likableness and competence were predictive of influence, likableness was a more important determinant of influence for female than male speakers when the audience was male. Consequently, with a male audience, women exhibiting a task style were less influential and likable than men exhibiting that style. Men were not more influential than women when displaying dominance. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Three studies examined the structure of young persons' perceptions of the elderly within the framework of E. Rosch's (1978) theory of natural categories; 189 undergraduates served as Ss. The 1st 2 studies employed picture-sorting, trait-rating, and statement-sorting tasks to demonstrate that the cognitive representation of the elderly as a social category was differentiated into meaningful subcategories associated with distinctive physical features and personality and behavioral characteristics. In addition, behavioral and personality associations were stronger for "prototypic" instances of the different subcategories than for less prototypic instances. The 3rd study investigated the effects of category prototypicality on the processing and recall of information about specific individuals. It was found that information that mixes features from different subcategories (within the general category of the elderly) was recalled less well than was homogeneous information. On the other hand, information describing an elderly individual that was inconsistent with generalized stereotypes of the aged took longer to process and was recalled as well as was prototype-consistent information. Results support the general conclusion that stereotyping of individuals occurs at the level of basic rather than superordinate categories. (16 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
[Correction Notice: An erratum for this article was reported in Vol 112(3) of Psychological Bulletin (see record 2008-10512-001). Some of the numbers in the Value columns of Table 1, page 11, were aligned incorrectly. The corrected version of Table 1 is provided in the erratum.] Reviews research on the evaluation of women and men that occupy leadership roles. While holding the characteristics, except for sex, constant and varying the sex of the leader, these experiments investigated whether people are biased against female leaders and managers. Although this research showed only a small overall tendency for Ss to evaluate female leaders less favorably than male ones, this tendency was more pronounced under certain circumstances. Specifically, women in leadership positions were devalued relative to their male counterparts when leadership was carried out in stereotypically masculine styles, especially when this style was autocratic or directive. Also, the devaluation of women was greater when leaders occupied male-dominated roles and when the evaluators were men. Findings are interpreted from a perspective that emphasizes the influence of gender roles within organizational settings. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Is there a difference between believing and merely understanding an idea? R. Descartes (e.g., 1641 [1984]) thought so. He considered the acceptance and rejection of an idea to be alternative outcomes of an effortful assessment process that occurs subsequent to the automatic comprehension of that idea. This article examined B. Spinoza's (1982) alternative suggestion that (1) the acceptance of an idea is part of the automatic comprehension of that idea and (2) the rejection of an idea occurs subsequent to, and more effortfully than, its acceptance. In this view, the mental representation of abstract ideas is quite similar to the mental representation of physical objects: People believe in the ideas they comprehend, as quickly and automatically as they believe in the objects they see. Research in social and cognitive psychology suggests that Spinoza's model may be a more accurate account of human belief than is that of Descartes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This paper explores the significant strengths of Fricker's account, and then develops the following questions. Can volitional epistemic practice correct for non-volitional prejudices? How can we address the structural causes of credibility-deflation? Are the motivations behind identity prejudice mostly other-directed or self-directed? And does Fricker aim for neutrality vis-à-vis identity, in which case her account conflicts with standpoint theory?
Article
In this paper I respond to three commentaries on Epistemic Injustice: Power and the Ethics of Knowing. In response to Alcoff, I primarily defend my conception of how an individual hearer might develop virtues of epistemic justice. I do this partly by drawing on empirical social psychological evidence supporting the possibility of reflective self-regulation for prejudice in our judgements. I also emphasize the fact that individual virtue is only part of the solution – structural mechanisms also have an essential role in combating epistemic injustice. My response to Goldberg principally concerns my perceptual account of the epistemology of testimony, which I defend as being both well-motivated and best categorized as a species of non-inferentialism. I also explain its relation to the reductionism/non-reductionism contrast, and defend my resistance to casting it as any kind of default view. In response to Hookway, I contrast discriminatory with distributive forms of epistemic injustice, and defend the basic taxonomy I present in the book, which casts testimonial and hermeneutical injustice as the two fundamental discriminatory forms of epistemic injustice.
Article
Murnen and Byrne (1991) have defined hyperfemininity as an exaggerated adherence to a feminine gender role as it relates to heterosexual relationships. Hyperfeminine women believe their success is determined by maintaining a romantic relationship with a man, and that their sexuality can be used to maintain this relationship. Extrapolating from theory concerning gender and status, including expectation states theory, it was hypothesized that a woman's expression of hyperfeminine attitudes would lead male college student participants to agree with her in response to a persuasive speech because it would indicate her compliance with women's subordinate status. It was found that men (but not women) who listened to a very hyperfeminine (high) speaker agreed with her more than did men who heard a mildly hyperfeminine (low) speaker, despite the fact that the high hyperfeminine speaker was judged less competent and knowledgeable. Implications of the results, including the idea that the sexual objectification of women perpetuates women's subordinate status, were discussed.
Article
The aim of this paper is to adapt Miranda Fricker's concept of testimonial injustice to cases of what I call "argumentative injustice": those cases where an arguer's social identity brings listeners to place too much or little credibility in an argument. My recommendation is to adopt a stance of "metadistrust"—we ought to dis-trust our inclinations to trust or dis-trust members of stereotyped groups. Resumé: Le but de cet article est d'adapter le concept de témoignage injuste de Miranda Fricker à des cas que j'appelle "injustice argument-ative": des cas où l'identité sociale d'un raisonneur amène ses auditeurs à accorder soit trop ou soit peu de cré-dibilité à ses arguments. Ma recom-mandation est d'adopter une position de «méta-méfiance»—nous devons nous méfier de nos inclinations à la confiance ou à la méfiance envers les membres de groupes stéréotypés.
Article
This study compares self-categorization, expectation states, and role congruity theories' explanations for female influence. Male and female participants (N = 267) listened to a recording of a female speaker who used either tentative or assertive language under conditions that led participants to categorize her as a woman or as college-educated. There was no evidence that women were differentially influenced by the speaker's linguistic style or by the categorization. Men, however, were more influenced by the tentative speaker when she was categorized as a woman than as a college student. Men were more influenced by an assertive than tentative speaker when the speaker was categorized as a college student. Mediational findings provided evidence for self-categorization and expectation states, but not role congruity, processes.
Article
Imagine a person making a call in a suburban shopping plaza. As the caller leaves the phone booth, along comes Alice, who drops a folder full of papers that scatter in the caller's path. Will the caller stop and help before the only copy of Alice's magnum opus is trampled by the bargain-hungry throngs? Perhaps it depends on the person: Jeff, an entrepreneur incessantly scheming about fattening his real estate holdings, probably won't, while Nina, a political activist who takes in stray cats, probably will. Nina is the compassionate type; Jeff isn't. In these circumstances we expect their true colors to show. But this may be a mistake, as an experiment conducted by Isen and Levin (1972) shows. There, the paper-dropper was an experimental confederate. For one group of callers, a dime was planted in the phone' s coin return slot; for the other, the slot was empty. Here are the results
Article
In the first part of this article, I briefly review research findings that show that professional lie catchers, such as police officers, are generally rather poor at distinguishing between truths and lies. I believe that there are many reasons contributing towards this poor ability, and give an overview of these reasons in the second part of this article. I also believe that professionals could become better lie detectors and explain how in the final part of this article.
Article
Most theories in social and political psychology stress self-interest, intergroup conflict, ethnocentrism, homophily, ingroup bias, outgroup antipathy, dominance, and resistance. System justification theory is influenced by these perspectives—including social identity and social dominance theories—but it departs from them in several respects. Advocates of system justification theory argue that (a) there is a general ideological motive to justify the existing social order, (b) this motive is at least partially responsible for the internalization of inferiority among members of disadvantaged groups, (c) it is observed most readily at an implicit, nonconscious level of awareness and (d) paradoxically, it is sometimes strongest among those who are most harmed by the status quo. This article reviews and integrates 10 years of research on 20 hypotheses derived from a system justification perspective, focusing on the phenomenon of implicit outgroup favoritism among members of disadvantaged groups (including African Americans, the elderly, and gays/lesbians) and its relation to political ideology (especially liberalism-conservatism).
Article
More than a trait of individuals, gender is an institutionalized system of social practices. The gender system is deeply entwined with social hierarchy and leadership because gender stereotypes contain status beliefs that associate greater status worthiness and competence with men than women. This review uses expectation states theory to describe how gender status beliefs create a network of constraining expectations and interpersonal reactions that is a major cause of the “glass ceiling.” In mixed-sex or gender-relevant contexts, gender status beliefs shape men's and women's assertiveness, the attention and evaluation their performances receive, ability attributed to them on the basis of performance, the influence they achieve, and the likelihood that they emerge as leaders. Gender status beliefs also create legitimacy reactions that penalize assertive women leaders for violating the expected status order and reduce their ability to gain complaince with directives.
Article
This review article reveals that men are generally more influential than women, although the gender difference depends on several moderators. Relative to men, women are particularly less influential when using dominant forms of communication, whereas the male advantage in influence is reduced in domains that are traditionally associated with the female role and in group settings in which more than one woman or girl is present. Males in particular resist influence by women and girls more than females do, especially when influence agents employ highly competent styles of communication. Resistance to competent women can be reduced, however, when women temper their competence with displays of communality and warmth.