Entries tagged with “Susan Boyle” from Polichicks

So what do you make of this excerpt from Yes, Looks Do Matter, a New York Times article on stereotypes and the Susan Boyle phenomenon?

Stereotypes are seen as a necessary mechanism for making sense of information.... When people don't fit our preconceived notions, we tend to ignore the contradictions, until they are too dramatic to overlook. In those cases, said John F. Dovidio, a psychology professor at Yale, we focus on the contradiction -- Ms. Boyle's voice, for example. While that makes us see her as more of an individual, we also "find a way to make the world make sense again, even if the way we do it is to say, 'This is an exceptional situation.' It's easier for me to keep the same categories in my mind and come up with an explanation for the things that are discrepant."

Even when presented with multiple exceptions to the stereotype, we often keep the broad category and simply create a subtype, Professor Dovidio said.

For example, President Obama challenged negative stereotypes about blacks, but some people may have come up with a subtype of blacks -- black professionals -- rather than challenge the overall stereotype, Professor Dovidio said.

Makes an interesting conversation, to say the least. 


Take this lesson from Susan Boyle, a 47 year old woman who has never been kissed and lives alone with her cat: It's never too late to follow your (impossible?) dream.

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