1. It Is Hard to Read Minds without Words: Cues to Use to Achieve Empathic Accuracy
2. Defining Empathic Accuracy
3. Using What Targets Say
4. Using Stereotypes
5. The Current Study
6. Moderating Effects of Thought Stereotypicality and Thought Transparency
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
Appendix A. Interview Questions
- How would you describe yourself?
- How would you describe the country where you grew up?
- What is one of your best memories from childhood?
- What is your favorite food?
- What did you think about the United States before coming here?
- What’s your impression of American culture since you’ve been in the United States?
- What differences, if any, have you noticed about the role women have in American society versus in Middle Eastern society?
- What role do you think women should have in society?
- What do you think people should value the most in life?
- What role does religion play in your life?
- Are you a part of a certain religious group?
- What do you think about conflicts that occur between religious groups?
- What do you think about dating culture in the United States?
- What types of activities do you do with your friends?
- If you could change something in the world, what would it be?
- What’s something that you think other people would be surprised to know about you?
Appendix B. Stereotype Themes
- Describes himself as religious/moral/traditional
- Describes himself as bold, confident, strong, or powerful
- Describes himself as a family man or honorable
- Describes himself as just like anyone else, as normal
- Describes himself as smart or intelligent
- Describes himself as hard working
- Describes himself as good or a kind man
- Describes himself as successful or as a businessman
- Describes the country he grew up in as poor, rural, or un-modernized
- Describes the country he grew up in as violent, war ridden or in conflict
- Describes the country he grew up in as hot, dry, or desert-like
- Describes the country he grew up in as religious
- Describes the country he grew up in as having strict rules or as traditional
- Describes the country he grew up in as good or having positive traits
- Describes best memories from childhood as family time
- Describes best memories from childhood as playing with friends or playing sports
- Describes best memories from childhood as religious activities
- Favorite food is Middle Eastern food
- Favorite food is hummus
- Favorite food is lamb
- Favorite food is rice
- Favorite food is curry
- Favorite food is meat or steak
- Favorite food is falafel
- Favorite food is shawarma
- Favorite food is spicy and/or flavorful
- Thoughts about U.S. before coming here included opportunity and/or freedom
- Thoughts about U.S. before coming here were very negative, or included hating Americans or disagreeing with their views
- Thoughts about U.S. before coming here included viewing Americans as hateful, unaccepting, or judgmental
- Thoughts about U.S. before coming here included viewing Americans as rich, living in luxury, entitled, or arrogant
- Impressions of American culture include viewing it as judgmental or racist
- Impressions of American culture include viewing it as immoral or immodest
- Impressions of American culture include viewing it as free or open
- Impressions of American culture include dislike for or negative opinion of it
- Impressions of American culture include perceiving large differences between America and Middle East
- Impressions of American culture include perceiving Americans as spoiled, entitled, or lazy
- Impressions of American culture include perceiving Americans as having negative opinions of Middle Easterners
- Impressions of American culture include perceiving Americans as fat or unhealthy
- Perceives American women as having more freedom, rights, opportunities, or equality
- Perceives American women as immodest or having too much power and freedom
- Perceives women in the Middle East as being treated as caretakers, as modest, as treated as unequally to men, as having less opportunity or as subservient to men
- Believes the role women should have in society is as mother, caretaker, or wife
- Believes the role women should have in society is lesser role than or role subservient to men
- Believes people should value religion most in life
- Believes people should value family most in life
- Religion plays very important or large role in his life
- Being religiously active plays very important or large role in his life
- Religion is important to him even if he is not personally religious
- Is a member of a Muslim religious group
- Is a member of an unspecified religious group
- He is assumed to be religious or Muslim by other people, and/or other people misunderstand his religion
- He thinks conflict that occurs between religious groups is unnecessary or too harmful and/or that people should strive for peace (he disapproves of religious conflict)
- He thinks conflict that occurs between religious groups reflects the importance of religion, reflects that there is one true religion or reflects that these conflicts are sometimes necessary or justified
- He thinks dating culture in the United States is wrong or immoral
- He thinks dating culture in the United States is too casual (thinks dating is not taken seriously enough)
- He thinks dating culture in the United States is open, free, and casual, without judging it as negative
- Likes to play sports, games, or soccer with friends
- Likes to eat, drink, or talk with friends
- Likes to smoke a hookah or smoke with friends
- Likes to do religious activities with friends
- Likes to go to clubs and bars with friends
Targets are asked to report what they were thinking or feeling in Ickes’ paradigm and references to targets’ “thinking” and “thoughts” throughout this paper should be considered inclusive of targets’ reported thoughts and feelings; no distinction is made between the two in data collection or analyses.
Past U.S. Census surveys, including the 2020 census, categorize individuals with Middle Eastern backgrounds as racially White (Wiltz 2014). However, in this paper, we use ‘White’ to refer to individuals of Caucasian, largely European backgrounds (the current ethnic majority group in the U.S.), and “Middle Eastern” to refer to individuals with ancestry in Arab or non-Arab MENA countries that are predominantly Muslim, as “Middle Eastern” was the term our subject population reported most commonly using and understanding. In addition, in line with APA style and other inputs (e.g., Appiah 2020) we capitalize “White” throughout when referring to the racial group.
As targets engaged in the interview, it could be argued that they were presumably “thinking” during the entire interview and thus should have reported a thought after each question. However, the pattern from now dozens of studies using Ickes’ paradigm (for reviews, see Hodges et al. 2015; Ickes and Hodges 2013) suggests that instead of providing a continuous stream of consciousness, targets instead report discrete mental events, e.g., being surprised by something, forming a judgment about something, wondering about something. Targets’ responses often include a mix of thoughts and feelings, e.g., “I was thinking about how happy she made me feel.”
In hindsight, we regretted not limiting participation in this phase of this study to non-MENA subjects, and we would definitely limit participation in this way in any future studies on this topic. One participant of MENA ethnicity reported being very offended at being asked about stereotypes of Middle Eastern men, and described the experience as consistent with other prejudice they had experienced in university. Because data collection was conducted online for this phase of this study, the participant’s response was not seen until some time after it was submitted, at which point the participant (whose identity details were largely unknown, due to the online nature of the data collection and the mechanics of the subject pool) was emailed an offer to discuss this study further (the offer was declined). The incident was reported to the university’s office of Human Subjects Compliance.
We initially included random slopes for all of the predictors. However, the model with random slopes (as well as random intercepts) did not converge given the small of number of observations for thoughts at Level 1. Thus, we removed the random slopes completely to avoid convergence issues.
- Anderson, Daniel, Andrew Heiss, and Jay Sumners. 2021. equatiomatic: Transform Models into ‘LaTeX’ Equations. Available online: https://github.com/datalorax/equatiomatic (accessed on 11 May 2021).
- Appiah, Kwame Anthony. 2020. The case for Capitalizing the B in Black. The Atlantic. June 18. Available online: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/06/time-to-capitalize-blackand-white/613159/ (accessed on 7 February 2021).
- Assari, Shervin. 2018. Interaction between race and gender on implicit racial bias against Blacks. International Journal of Epidemiologic Research 5: 43–49. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Baron-Cohen, Simon, Sally Wheelwright, Jacqueline Hill, Yogini Raste, and Ian Plumb. 2001. The “Reading the mind in the eyes” Test revised version: A study with normal adults, and adults with Asperger syndrome or high-functioning autism. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 42: 241–51. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Bates, Douglas, Martin Maechler, Ben Bolker, Steven Walker, Rune Haubo Bojesen Christensen, Henrik Singmann, Bin Dai, Fabian Scheipl, Gabor Grothendieck, and Peter Green. 2018. Package ‘lme4’. Version 1: 17. [Google Scholar]
- Cohen, Jacob, Patricia Cohen, Stephen G. West, and Leona S. Aiken. 2002. Applied Multiple Regression/Correlation Analysis for the Behavioral Sciences, 3rd ed. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. [Google Scholar]
- Correll, Joshua, Bernadette Park, Charles M. Judd, and Bernd Wittenbrink. 2002. The police officer’s dilemma: Using ethnicity to disambiguate potentially threatening individuals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 83: 1314–29. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Devine, Patricia G. 1989. Stereotypes and prejudice: Their automatic and controlled components. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 56: 5–18. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Dovidio, John F., Samuel L. Gaertner, and Adam R. Pearson. 2017. Aversive Racism and Contemporary Bias. In The Cambridge Handbook of the Psychology of Prejudice. Edited by Chris G. Sibley and Fiona Kate Barlow. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 267–94. [Google Scholar]
- Duronto, Patricia Monica, Tsukasa Nishida, and Shin-ichi Nakayama. 2005. Uncertainty, anxiety, and avoidance in communication with strangers. International Journal of Intercultural Relations 29: 549–60. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Eberhardt, Jennifer Lynn, Paul G. Davies, Valerie J. Purdie-Vaughns, and Sheri Lynn Johnson. 2006. Looking deathworthy: Perceived stereotypicality of Black defendants predicts capital-sentencing outcomes. Psychological Science 17: 383–86. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Gelman, Andrew, and Jennifer Hill. 2006. Data Analysis Using Regression and Multilevel/Hierarchical Models. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [Google Scholar]
- Gesn, Paul Randy, and William Ickes. 1999. The development of meaning contexts for empathic accuracy: Channel and sequence effects. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 77: 746–61. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Ghavami, Negin, and Letitia Anne Peplau. 2012. An intersectional analysis of gender and ethnic stereotypes testing three hypotheses. Psychology of Women Quarterly 37: 113–27. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Gluszek, Agata, and John F. Dovidio. 2010. The way they speak: A social psychological perspective on the stigma of nonnative accents in communication. Personality and Social Psychology Review 14: 214–37. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Gupta, Arpana, Dawn Marie Szymanski, and Frederick T. L. Leong. 2011. The “Model Minority Myth”: Internalized racialism of positive stereotypes as correlates of psychological distress, and attitudes toward help-seeking. Asian American Journal of Psychology 2: 101–14. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Hall, Judith A., and Marianne Schmid Mast. 2007. Sources of accuracy in the empathic accuracy paradigm. Emotion 7: 438–46. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Hodges, Sara D., and Michael W. Myers. 2007. Empathy. In Encyclopedia of Social Psychology. Edited by Roy F. Baumeister and Kathleen D. Vohs. Thousand Oaks: Sage, pp. 296–98. [Google Scholar]
- Hodges, Sara D., Kristi J. Kiel, Adam D. Kramer, Darya Veach, and B. Renee Villanueva. 2010. Giving birth to empathy: The effects of similar experience on empathic accuracy, empathic concern, and perceived empathy. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 36: 398–409. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Hodges, Sara D., Sean M. Laurent, and Karyn L. Lewis. 2011. Specially motivated, feminine, or just female: Do women have an empathic accuracy advantage? In Managing Interpersonal Sensitivity: Knowing When—and When not—to Understand Others. Edited by Jessi L. Smith, William Ickes, Judith A. Hall and Sara D. Hodges. New York: Nova Science, pp. 59–73. [Google Scholar]
- Hodges, Sara D., Karyn L. Lewis, and William Ickes. 2015. The matter of other minds: Empathic accuracy and the factors that influence it. In APA Handbook of Personality and Social Psychology: Vol. 3. Interpersonal Relations. Edited by Phillip Shaver, Mario Mikulincer, Jeffry A. Simpson and John Dovidio. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, pp. 319–48. [Google Scholar]
- Holoien, Deborah Son, Hilary B. Bersieker, J. Nicole Shelton, and Jan Marie Alegre. 2015. Do you really understand? Achieving accuracy in interracial relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 108: 76–92. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Ickes, William. 2008. Mind-reading superheroes: Fiction and fact. In The Psychology of Superheroes: An Unauthorized Exploration. Dallas: Benbella Books, pp. 119–34. [Google Scholar]
- Ickes, William, and Sara D. Hodges. 2013. Empathic accuracy in close relationships. In Handbook of Close Relationships. Edited by Jeffry Simpson and Lorne Campbell. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 348–73. [Google Scholar]
- Ickes, William, Linda Stinson, Victor Bissonnette, and Stella Garcia. 1990. Naturalistic social cognition: Empathic accuracy in mixed-sex dyads. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 59: 730–42. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Jussim, Lee, Jarret T. Crawford, and Rachel S. Rubinstein. 2015. Stereotype (in)accuracy in perceptions of groups and individuals. Current Directions in Psychological Science 24: 490–97. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Klein, Kristi J. K., and Sara D. Hodges. 2001. Gender differences, motivation and empathic accuracy: When it pays to understand. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 27: 720–30. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Kolar, David W., David C. Funder, and C. Randall Colvin. 1996. Comparing the accuracy of personality judgments by the self and knowledgeable others. Journal of Personality 64: 311–37. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Lawless DesJardins, Nicole M., and Sara D. Hodges. 2015. Reading between the lies: Empathic accuracy and deception detection. Social Psychological and Personality Science 6: 781–87. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Levenson, Robert W., and Anna M. Ruef. 1992. Empathy: A physiological substrate. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 63: 234–46. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Lewis, Karyn L., Sara D. Hodges, Sean M. Laurent, Sanjay Srivastava, and Gina Biancarosa. 2012. Reading between the minds: The use of stereotypes in empathic accuracy. Psychological Science 23: 1040–46. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Lewis, Karyn L., Lucas Cylke, Kathryn R. Denning, and Sara D. Hodges. 2018. To Use or Not to Use: Stereotypes and Empathic Accuracy. Oregon: University of Oregon, Unpublished Data. [Google Scholar]
- Lichtblau, Eric. 2016. Hate Crimes Against American Muslims most Since Post-9/11 era. The New York Times. September 17. Available online: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/18/us/politics/hate-crimes-american-muslims-rise.html (accessed on 20 September 2020).
- Long, Jacob A. 2017. Package ‘Jtools’. Available online: https://cran.r-project.org/package=jtools (accessed on 20 September 2020).
- Marangoni, Carol, Stella Garcia, William Ickes, and Gary Teng. 1995. Empathic accuracy in a clinically relevant setting. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 68: 854–69. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Marist Poll. 2011. Holy Superpowers, Batman! Mind Reading and Time Travel Top List. February 8. Available online: http:l/maristpoll.marist.edu/28-holy-superpowers-batman-mind-reading-and-time-travel-top-list (accessed on 20 September 2020).
- Modir, Shelia, and Maryam Kia-Keating. 2018. Exploring the Middle Eastern American college student experience: Discrimination, adjustment, and coping. Journal of College Student Development 59: 563–78. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Morin, Rich. 2015. Exploring Racial Bias among Biracial and Single-Race Adults: The IAT. Washington, DC: Pew Research Center, Available online: https://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2015/08/19/exploring-racial-bias-among-biracial-and-single-race-adults-the-iat/ (accessed on 20 September 2020).
- Nacos, Brigette K., and Oscar Torres-Reyna. 2007. Fueling our Fears: Stereotyping, Media Coverage and Public Opinion of Muslim Americans. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers. [Google Scholar]
- Nowicki, Stephen, and Marshall P. Duke. 1994. Individual differences in the nonverbal communication of affect: The Diagnostic Analysis of Nonverbal Accuracy Scale. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior 18: 9–35. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Plant, E. Ashby, and Patricia G. Devine. 2001. Responses to other-imposed pro-black pressure: Acceptance or backlash? Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 37: 486–501. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Porter, Stephen, and Leanne ten Brinke. 2008. Reading between the lies: Identifying concealed and falsified emotions in universal facial expressions. Psychological Science 19: 508–14. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Ripley, Brian, Bill Venables, Douglas M. Bates, Kurt Hornik, Albrecht Gebhardt, and David Firth. 2013. Package ‘mass’. Cran R 538. Available online: http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/pub/MASS4/ (accessed on 11 May 2021).
- Shaheen, Jack George. 2003. Reel bad Arabs: How Hollywood vilifies a people. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 588: 171–93. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Sisler, Vit. 2008. Digital Arabs: Representation in video games. European Journal of Cultural Studies 11: 203–20. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Sommers, Samuel R., and Michael I. Norton. 2006. Lay theories about white racists: What constitutes racism (and what doesn’t). Group Processes and Intergroup Relations 9: 117–38. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Spencer, S. J., C. M. Steele, and D. M. Quinn. 1999. Stereotype threat and women’s math performance. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 35: 4–28. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Steele, Claude. 2010. Whistling Vivaldi: And Other Clues to How Stereotypes Affect Us. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, Inc. [Google Scholar]
- Stinson, Linda, and William Ickes. 1992. Empathic accuracy in the interactions of male friends versus male strangers. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 62: 787–97. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Thomas, Geoff, and Gregory R. Maio. 2008. Man, I feel like a woman: When and how gender-role motivation helps mind-reading. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 95: 1165–79. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Vorauer, Jacquie D., and Yumiko Sakamoto. 2006. I thought we could be friends, but… Systematic miscommunication and defensive distancing as obstacles to cross-group friendship formation. Psychological Science 17: 326–31. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Vorauer, Jacquie D., and Stacey J. Sasaki. 2009. Helpful only in the abstract: Ironic effects of empathy in intergroup interaction. Psychological Science 20: 191–97. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Wiltz, Teresa. 2014. Lobbying for a MENA category on U.S. Census. USA Today. October 7. Available online: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/08/13/stateline-census-Mena-africa-mideast/13999239 (accessed on 20 September 2020).
- Wout, Daryl A., Margaret J. Shih, James S. Jackson, and Robert M. Sellers. 2009. Targets as perceivers: How people determine when they will be negatively stereotyped. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 96: 349–62. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
- Zaki, Jamil, Niall Bolger, and Kevin Ochsner. 2009. Unpacking the informational bases of empathic accuracy. Emotion 9: 478–87. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
- Zuckerman, Miron, Bella M. DePaulo, and Robert Rosenthal. 1981. Verbal and nonverbal communication of deception. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology 14: 1–59. [Google Scholar]
|Perceivers’ Use of Stereotypes||2.15||.58|
|Perceivers’ Use of Targets’ Spoken Words||.55||.60|
|Perceivers’ Use of Stereotypes||.01||.001||6.33||<.001|
|Use of Stereotypes × Thought Stereotypicality||.003||.002||1.55||.12|
|Perceivers’ Use of Targets’ Words||.02||.001||17.37||<.001|
|Use of Targets’ Words × Thought Transparency||.02||.002||8.18||<.001|
|Gender (−1 = Female, 1 = Male)||.003||.002||1.61||.11|
Publisher’s Note: MDPI stays neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).