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Ambady and colleagues (2001) showed that the subtle reinforcing of widely held sociocultural stereotypes influenced in an either negative or positive way, the performance of students in a mathematical test. This study led the authors to question whether the purposeful reinforcement of sociocultural stereotypes that led to positive outcomes on performance may be a useful strategy (Ambady et al, 2001, p. 389). Similarly they showed that the influence of negative stereotypes was evident from a very young age and this information may be used to develop timeframes for age appropriate introduction of the purposeful manipulation of positive stereotypes (Ambady et al, 2001, p. 389).Ambady and Rosenthal (1993) studied the accuracy of strangers’ ability’s to predict college teacher’s evaluations after viewing video images of the teachers for very short periods of time: six, fifteen or less than thirty seconds. The predictions of the subjects who knew nothing other than the brief video images of the teachers were surprisingly accurate (Ambady and Rosenthal, 1993, p. 438). This earlier study by Ambady and Rosenthal (1993) relates to the study of Ambady and her colleagues (2001) in that they are both identify that widely held stereotypes are correlated to performance. Both studies looked in focused detail at their hypotheses and as such provide provocative evidence of how sociocultural or behavioral and physical appearance stereotypes influence performance or conform to expectations of performance.Habitual behaviors that can be observed and assessed in extremely short periods of time appear to be accurate in predicting the evaluations of college teachers (Ambady and Rosenthal, 1993). Nervous shuffling of school students during physical education lessons has led to new students whose athletic ability was unknown being chosen last for teams by their peers. This situation often showed that the new student displaying the nervous mannerism was indeed poor at the sport about to be played and the nonverbal behavior was accurately interpreted by his new classmates.A common feature of world politics is the interpretation of nonverbal behaviors to provide increased information. World leaders are trained extensively in how to control their nonverbal behaviors so that they are not unwittingly showing an unwanted sign to the people they wish to influence. Similarly salespeople are trained to watch and gain clues as to how best achieve a sale from gaining insight into their prospects intentions via interpreting their nonverbal behaviors.A new situation for the concept of being able to manipulate performance via the subtle reinforcement of stereotypes, whether that is sociocultural or nonverbal behaviors based stereotypes is that these stereotypes are no longer something that is set. Could we influence a person’s behavior positively by reinforcing or even changing their nonverbal habitual behaviors to those of a more successful performer? Leading to a similar result as was seen in Ambady and her colleagues’ study of the sociocultural stereotype being reinforced that led to measurable changes in test results (2001). A limitation of this approach may be if the successful nonverbal behaviors are not able to influence the performance of the individual.To study the application of reinforcing positive stereotypes of nonverbal behaviors, the hypothesis to be tested would be, that smiling and standing straight while meeting someone for the first time led to subjects observing less anxiety during that meeting. This study would involve two groups of subjects. All subject groups would consist of people who self report to feeling high levels of anxiety when meeting new people for the first time, the first group would undergo four thirty minute training sessions on how to appear confident by smiling and standing straight when being introduced to new people. The second group would not undergo any training at all. All subjects would meet while being observed by the researchers three new people. The subjects would then self-report on their perceived anxiety levels during the meeting. The independent variable would be the experience of training or not and the dependent variable would be the perceived level of anxiety. This would be tested with an experimental design where results would be assessed for a significant difference between the subject groups on the level of perceived level of anxiety. If this hypothesis was supported it could lead to a field of behavioral modification strategy that could effect changes in people’s performance based on purposeful manipulation of stereotype behaviors.In summary, it is unsettling to imagine that stereotypes not only influence the way a person is judged but that the reinforcement of such stereotypes can alter performance in a predictable manner. Therefore leading to the question, are stereotypes self fulfilling prophesies? 

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