Illusory correlation and stereotype formation: making sense of group differences and cognitive biases
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Women are more romantic than men. Scientists are duller than artists. We often make such judgements about groups. Some of these judgements are based on folklore, others are based on observation or experience. When we do rely on observed data, how good are we at detecting relationships between group membership and behaviour? Do we find it easy to detect differences between groups? Are our judgements biased? This chapter deals with these issues and focuses on the paradigm that has dominated research on the formation of stereotypic differences between groups over the last three decades: the illusory correlation paradigm.