Into Racial Stereotypes? You Probably Struggle Elsewhere, Too

Stereotyping and failure to be creative both "occur when people fixate on existing category information and conventional mindsets," researchers say about a new study.

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Hooray. We can never resist bad news about racists and similar types. Especially when it appears to be backed up by science.

According to the Huffington Post, a new study suggests that people who have a hard time getting past putting racial groups in boxes have the same types of limitations in other areas of thinking. In other words, being close-minded can work against you in your daily life just as much as it works against the groups of people you tend to judge based on color.

The researchers manipulated participants' beliefs about racial essentialism by having them read one of three articles: one that described fictitious scientific research supporting racial essentialist beliefs, one that described fictitious research supporting racial nonessentialist beliefs, or one about the scientific properties of water.

The participants then took a commonly used test of creativity called the Remote Associates Test. The participants were given three distinct words and they had to identify a single target word that linked the three words together. So, for example, given the words "manners," "round," and "tennis," the correct answer would be "table"...

What they found -- that those with an essentialist point of view were less creative than their non-stereotyping counterparts, a cause and effect that they liken to being close-minded.

"Although [racial stereotyping and creative stagnation] concern very different outcomes, they both occur when people fixate on existing category information and conventional mindsets," Tadmor and her colleagues write.

Read more at the Huffington Post.

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