Unasked questions about stereotype accuracy.

SCIENTIFIC In this article, we argue that there are many unanswered questions crucial to scientific understanding about stereotypes and stereotype accuracy. We present a review and analysis suggesting that a set of cognitive, motivational, and social factors conspired to prevent psychologists from asking serious questions about stereotype accuracy for decades and may help explain why many reviews in the field foreclose on presumptive answers to questions that actually require empirical data. We review the history of the first unasked question in this area, “Are stereotypes inaccurate?” which went unaddressed for about 70 years after the initial social science interest in stereotypes. Current unasked questions include (a) When and how does relying on a stereotype increase the accuracy of person perception? (b) Why are some stereotypes more accurate than others? (c) How accurate are implicit stereotypes? (d) Do people ever actually ignore individuating information? We conclude with testable hypotheses about the sources of not asking certain questions, and with recommendations for overcoming biases and blind spots in research on stereotypes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)