« More Bullshit About Hapas | Main | FarThing »

April 27, 2006

What He Said

Regarding cross-race identification in the Duke Lacrosse rape case, Malcolm Gladwell writes in his all too intermittent blog that:

The problem seems to be that when we encounter someone from a different group we process them at the group level. We code the face in our memory under the category black or white, and not under the category of someone with, say, an oval face and brown eyes and a prominent chin. Race, in other words, trumps other visual features that would be more helpful in distinguishing one person from another. Why do we do this? One idea is simply that it’s a result of lack of familiarity: that the more we “know” a racial type, the more sophisticated our encoding becomes. Another idea is that it’s a manifestation of in-group/out-group bias. The thing about coding by group and not by facial feature is that it’s a lot faster. And from an evolutionary standpoint, you’d want to use quicker processing methodologies in dealing with those who come from unfamiliar—and potentially unfriendly—groups. The bottom line is that the adage that “all blacks look the same” to whites (and all whites look the same blacks) has some real foundation.?

Hey, didn't I say something similar? Oh yeah, in this long-winded debate with Jose in the comments to an earlier post.

Anyway, what he said.

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451c59b69e200d835609d4f69e2

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference What He Said:

Comments

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Recent Comments

Join My Mailing List!