Stereotype Accuracy: The Loner Stereotype

January 16th, 2013 | Categories: Uncategorized

In my research exploring the definition of stereotypes I conclude that stereotype accuracy may be a moderator in whether or not a person decides to communicate a stereotype. If a person views a stereotype as accurate then that person may view the stereotype as valuable to communicate, as much as any other fact. If a person views a stereotype as inaccurate then that person may view the stereotype as inappropriate to communicate given the potential for it to result in negative consequences for the group it targets.

My personal viewpoint on stereotype accuracy takes a stronger stance. I view stereotype accuracy as irrelevant for understanding and communicating stereotypes.

Even if research supports that stereotypes are accurate for some statistically significant portion of a population, the average person using that stereotype would not be familiar with that research and, therefore, could not use it as a justification for communicating that stereotype. Of course this wouldn’t stop someone from saying, “Well I just know it’s true” even when there is no way that person could.

Regardless of whether a stereotype is accurate for some statistically significant portion of a population, that knowledge provides no information about whether that stereotype is accurate for an individual person who the stereotyper may wish to target by communicating the stereotype. Of course this wouldn’t stop someone from saying, “John fits the stereotype perfectly” even when this can’t be measured.

Despite my personal distaste for arguing issues of accuracy, I know it is a lynchpin for many people. As a result I will be posting a new series for WeBlog Wednesdays. In my new series, titled simply Stereotype Accuracy, I link to articles that discuss stereotypes of specific groups and address whether or not the stereotype of that particular group is accurate.

For today’s WeBlog Wednesday, a new study provides evidence that the loner stereotype is inaccurate!!!

A new survey challenges the notion that avid video gamers are antisocial loners. On the contrary, the findings suggest that gaming is actually a way to stay connected with friends and strengthen, rather than weaken, social ties

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