Choosing the right level of analysis: Stereotypes shape social reality via collective action


In his 2012 book Jussim argues that the self-fulfilling prophecy and expectancy effects of descriptive stereotypes are not potent shapers of social reality. However, his conclusion that descriptive stereotypes per se do not shape social reality is premature and overly reductionist. We review evidence that suggests descriptive stereotypes do have a substantial influence on social reality, by virtue of their influence on collective action.

Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 40, e13
Ben Tappin
Postdoctoral Researcher

My research interests are in political communication and persuasion.