Misperceptions of the Social World : What We Get Wrong About Sex, Race, Money, and Violence book cover
1st Edition

Misperceptions of the Social World
What We Get Wrong About Sex, Race, Money, and Violence

ISBN 9781138105232
Published December 13, 2017 by Routledge
196 Pages

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Book Description

This volume elucidates some of the very concrete ways in which Americans misperceive the social world and how we are all subject to biases and illusions. As such, it challenges the assumption in much social science theorizing that people are rational actors by exploring how the machinations of cognition, the effect of our past experiences, the news, and social media feeds all factor into our opinion-making process. The chapters highlight common, and often incorrect, perceptions of population diversity, sexual behavior, the economy, health, and relationships. It shows how correcting these misperceptions of the social world can lead to real behavioral and attitudinal change.

Table of Contents

Section One: Population Innumeracy

Chapter 1: Racial Minorities

Chapter 2: LGBT

Chapter 3: Immigrants

Chapter 4: Law Enforcement Workers

Section Two: Sex

Chapter 5: Number of Sexual Partners

Chapter 6: Hooking Up (Casual Sexual Encounters)

Chapter 7: Infidelity

Chapter 8: Teenage Pregnancy

Section Three: Money and Work

Chapter 9: Class Mobility

Chapter 10: Willingness to Pay

Chapter 11: Hours Worked

Chapter 12: Calling in Falsely Sick

Chapter 13: U.S. Foreign Aid Spending

Section Four: Health and Wellness

Chapter 14: Calories

Chapter 15: Weight Healthiness

Chapter 16: CPR

Chapter 17: Emotional Well-Being

Section Five: Social Issues

Chapter 18: Divorce

Chapter 19: Violence

Chapter 20: Willingness to Help

Section Six: Biases and Illusions

Chapter 21: Spotlight Effect

Chapter 22: False Consensus Effect

Chapter 23: Optimism Bias

Chapter 24: End of History Illusion

Chapter 25: Survivor Bias

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Eric Beasley is an Assistant Professor at Michigan State University and serves as a Special Lecturer for Oakland University.