Why do so many scientists seem to jettison their logical and critical thinking skills when it comes to stereotypes?
I have not read your book so my comments are limited. Nonetheless, I have the sense that the question of 'agenda' is on the mark.
As you note, your blog surely cannot be about the banal notion of the one exception proving/disproving a rule, since all distributions, Gausian included of course, display variations and indeed Black Swans at their asymptotes. I therefore believe you are writing about the use of stereotypes where scientists seem to jettison their logical and thinking skills.
The topic is fraught with difficulties which rest on political correct notions of when/if stereotypes are innocuous or 'offensive'. Not only has the vital heuristic of stereotypes been severely curtailed, but there are also heated arcane arguments around the offensiveness of positive stereotypes which have led to even more curtailment so that nobody is ever quite sure when a stereotype might give offence. Since I lack nuanced thinking skills and am devoid of intellectual sophistication, I choose the easy way out and never use stereotypes at all. I do not imagine black basketball players taller than the average American male. Indeed, I am learning not to see their skin as any different in colour from Caucasians, East Asians, or Indo-Asian.
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Lee Jussim, Ph.D., is a social psychologist who has written on social perception, accuracy, self-fulfilling prophecies and stereotypes, and prejudice for more than 30 years.
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