Warsaw School of Social Psychology
This article looks at spontaneously-performed stereotypical reasoning based on a set of information that is linked thematically but informally (i.e. not under logical principles). First the typical experimental approach of social psychology is presented, meaning the approach in which a stereotype is one of the premises allowing a valid, albeit not necessarily true, conclusion to be drawn. The main body of the article presents the cognitive paradigm of text comprehension, which enables the skill of informal reasoning to be tested – or more specifically, the building of a situational model via the integration of information obtained with previously possessed knowledge (in the form of a stereotype, for example, or another heuristic). This method seems to be appropriate for testing the kind of stereotypical reasoning in which the stereotype is not a necessary premise for drawing conclusions, but rather an additional factor that may disrupt the ability to reason based on the premises given (especially in individuals who possess a stereotype). The appropriateness of using the text comprehension method for studying this sort of stereotypical reasoning is then discussed, based on the example of the author’s research.
Keywords: stereotype, reasoning, text comprehension
Cite this article as:
Piber-Dąbrowska, K., (2008). The cognitive paradigm of text comprehension as a potential method for studying stereotypical reasoning. Psychologia Społeczna, 6, 41–53.