Direct and Indirect Measurements of Stereotypes
Analyzing the use of Direct and Indirect Measurements of Stereotypical Behaviors
In the direct measurement of stereotypes, such as the free response, scientists must ask if it is a reliable measurement of stereotypes. Many people may answer a free question regarding a particular group, but answers may be given to the tester of what the tested may what the tester to hear. For example, if a behavioral scientist were to ask a student his or hers feelings regarding African Americans, the student may state what is perceived as the ‘right’ answer at the time, so the scientist does not project the student as a bigot, racist, discriminatory or stereotypic. Therefore, according to David J. Schneider (2004), “free responses are not ideal measures” (35). In another explanation with free response measurements, educated college students may experience direct associations with groups, thus being less stereotypical or will not produce stereotypic answers because of the understanding of cultural differences or denying negative feelings of stereotypes, i.e. believing that “African Americans […] get more than they deserve and deny individual responsibility rather than negative qualities per se” (as cited in Schneider, 2004, p35). However, in situations such as the above aforementioned, analysis on stereotypical behaviors is difficult to measure without falsifying or manipulating data.
Another example in the Katz and Braly (1933) study of direct measure is the use of cultural experiences of certain group types. However, being suggestive, is this plausibly a direct measure of stereotypes? If the author was given a survey asking if Asian males were 1. Smart in mathematics; 2. Short 3. Pushy, 4. Kind 5. Gentle 6. Does not marry out of culture; what would the response of this author produce? The author’s own cultural experiences with Asian males, or the truth which would is difficult since the author of paper has never lived amongst the Asian culture, therefore, would only produce prejudicial statements of experiences with Asian males?
Katz and Braly is not a reliable source of measuring prejudice, unless the behavioral scientists measure prejudices amongst separate cultural groups and the thoughts of each group views of each other worldwide. Example: African Americans views of the Caucasian culture overall. Still this is incomplete because not every Caucasian would fit into the prejudicial stereotype. Commonality is not truth or fact. Therefore, uniformity or generality is not a good source of direct measurement. The only true direct measurement for finding evidence of facts, would be the action of a behavioral scientist living amongst a specific culture for a time frame that is long enough to determine true cultural behaviors. Even worlds that may stimulate a negative stereotype would be suggestive or what the legal profession calls “leading the witness,” with direct measurements such as “scale ratings,...