• Fri. Dec 9th, 2022

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People tend to believe populations are more diverse than they are

In 12 psychological experiments with a total of 942 participants, 82 per cent overestimated the presence of individuals from minority ethnic groups

Humans 14 April 2022

A stock image of a group of people of a range of ethnicities

A stock image of a group of people of a range of ethnicities

Shutterstock/Rawpixel.com

People may subconsciously overestimate the presence of individuals from minority ethnic groups, even if they belong to those groups, which could create illusions of diversity within populations.

“Individuals from the minority group are by definition less frequent,” says Rasha Kardosh at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel. “Therefore, we are more likely to notice them and so are more likely to remember their presence, and so we end up overestimating their presence.”

Previous studies suggest people in …