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  • bill - 2 months ago
    The more I think about it, the more I realize how fucked the title is. “Interactions with” makes it sound like one-on-one interactions.
    • jeff - 2 months ago
      Maybe you should re-read the article. The analysis of political speeches was only used to gather preliminary evidence. The actual experiments run by the researchers were indeed one-on-one interactions.
      • bill - 2 months ago
        OK. You're right that I glossed over the aspect of this research that doesn't involve the speeches. I just read the official research abstract. (It's interesting!)

        >> Study 1 examined the content of White Republican and Democratic presidential candidates’ campaign speeches.

        Again, my issue with that whole portion of the research is that I don't think measuring the number of times someone uses a competence-based word has anything to do with whether or not that person is exhibiting competence.

        >> Across five experiments (total N = 2,157), White participants responded to a Black or White hypothetical (Studies 2, 3, 4, S1) or ostensibly real (Study 5) interaction partner.

        I've been reading about this for a while now and I still just don't buy any of it. Although Cydney Dupree seems perfectly nice. Just totally wrong.
  • bill - 2 months ago
    Washington Post just picked this up. @jeff, i think you get credit for breaking this story. You earned a hammer badge! 🔨
  • jeff - 2 months ago
    Epitome of sadcringe. The soft bigotry of low expectations in action.
    • bill - 2 months ago
      >> They scanned 74 speeches delivered by white candidates over a 25-year period. Approximately half were addressed to mostly-minority audiences—at a Hispanic small business roundtable discussion or a black church, for example. They then paired each speech delivered to a mostly-minority audience with a comparable speech delivered at a mostly-white audience—at a mostly-white church or university, for example. The researchers analyzed the text of these speeches for two measures: words related to competence (that is, words about ability or status, such as “assertive” or “competitive”) and words related to warmth (that is, words about friendliness, such as “supportive” and “compassionate”).

      This study is really weak. Using fewer “words related competence” doesn’t at all mean that you’re acting/projecting less competence. Public speakers know that the trick is simple language. Plus, if you’re going to address a group in a place where you don’t fit in/feel comfortable/have experience (for example, a black church) of course you are going to moderate yourself to use more “words related to warmth.” It’s the equivalent of saying “I come in peace.”

      >> The difference wasn’t statistically significant in speeches by Republican candidates, though “it was harder to find speeches from Republicans delivered to minority audiences,” Dupree notes.

      If you have an honest intention to reach and connect to all, it’s a *good thing* to push your comfort zone. Looking out-of-place, saying the wrong thing - that’s how growth & progress happen. It doesn’t happen when we just ignore people who look/act different.

      There’s something to discuss here, but the title is unnecessarily triggering. More research is required to assert that this is a specifically liberal thing. (Insert video of Mitt Romney “who let the dogs out?”)
      • courtney - 2 months ago
        I wasn’t particularly bothered by the title. Seemed like a necessary catchy headline to get the attention of people that need to read it the most. Maybe the triggering aspect was just the word competent itself?

        For the preliminary evidence they collected
        ….it seems to me, that using ‘competent’ speech in conjunction with warmth and compassion would go over universally well no matter what audience. It’s the censoring that occurs that I think is really troublesome. Altering your speech patterns or personality to pander to a particular audience seems disingenuous––which I guess is just politics 101. It either means that the politicians think minority audiences have a lower intelligence level based on stereotypes or they feel so uncomfortable with a different group of people that they need to overcompensate with tidings of “hey, look what a kind and compassionate person I am.” Neither which are great options.

        I think the same thoughts can be extended to the one-on-one interaction study. For more liberally leaning people, it becomes magnified. Although probably unconscious, there’s such a desire to appear woke and a proponent of diversity that the stakes for approval increase exponentially. I loved the last quote of the article. I agree that a lot of well intentioned people and allies are only further increasing the divide because neither party feels comfortable acting genuinely around the other. I’m not sure what the solution is? Be yourself? Don’t alter your speech patterns? But most likely get to know someone on an individual level and remain open to listening and reevaluating your behavior when someone vocalizes you’re in the wrong.