9/16 課堂筆記 Writing Exercise Changes Perception

Closing Statements from Writing Exercise Changes Perception discussion:

I think we are all struggling with this stereotype in this society. And I realized all of us are being affected by others expectation or others behavior or words. Therefore, i'm thinking we need to say good for others, do good for others, because any words we say, and any behavior we do, will make a huge impact on others, and we'll never know our effect.
And besides, even though it's hard to live without using stereotypes, but we still have to try to be ourselves.

I would say, and let other people be themselves, too. I think that it's harder. I think it's really hard to remember that the person across from you has all their layers of experience and ideas and things.

After today's discussion, I'm reminded that stereotypes are closely related to what we were talking about a few weeks ago, with normal, and not-normal. Behavior matching stereotypes is "normal", so if you break the stereotype, then you're not normal, and that's weird.

Well, I think stereotype is a kind of predjudice, just like I said about the autistic person, what comes in our mind is a man or a boy.

I just realized, helping people is not just letting them be who they are, but actively figuring out ways to help them, like having women or black people write about their values in class, so that it helps them fight stereotype threat.

You know, how do we help children build their values?

Say good things to them?

That's one way.

Or give them more choices.

I think you ahve to actively support that their judgement is correct.

You know, we say good things about kids all the time, we praise them about everything, but we do it wrong, what we do doesn't help. We have to praise them in a useful way.

Yeah, like only when they've done something worth praising, not like "wow, you caught the ball!" when they like catch a ball all the time. And give them real critique when something could be improved.

I think the point is, you take them seriously, like an adult person, not treat them like some weird small being that has to be managed, like a pet or something.



1. What is a stereotype?
a certain quality that is shared by a certain group.

2. What are stereotypes of Taiwanese as a group?
kindhearted
friendly
open to most new things
less organized
the cha-bu-dou 'it's good enough' factor
love money
like 'iron rice bowl' jobs
too serious, no sense of humor

3. Are you personally different from these stereotypes? How are you different?
I'm a little different from the 'love money' stereotype.
What about you?
I"m not that kindhearted or friendly.

4. What are stereotypes of women as a group?
more tolerant than men
more emotional
illogical
indecisive
focussing on minor details = not macro thinkers
petty
less capable
unable to carry heavy things
like to be taken care of
eating less
obsessed with jewelry and makeup and clothes
obsessed with their weight and appearance
counts and remembers all the times someone has wronged them =
記仇 harboring bitter resentment = a harpy
jealous and controlling


5. Are you personally different from these stereotypes? How are you different?
I'm not controlling, I'm not obsessed with jewelry makeup, weight, appearance. I'm not a harpy.
I'm a macro thinker
Me, too.
I'm not a harpy, I'm a macro thinker, I think I'm capable, and when I was young, I was able to carry heavy things, and I eat a lot.
I'm tolerant, I'm decisive, I'm detail oriented or a macro thinker, or both, depending on the situation. I love carrying heavy things, because I'm really strong. I eat super a lot. I love fashion, but I'm not obsessed with diamonds and useless stuff like thast.

6. What stereotypical groups have you been placed into?
(ex: woman, girl, intelligent/nerd, white, tall, artistic, american, midwesterner, foreigner)
elementary school teacher = conservative, don't like change, not compassionate enough
woman, woman-in-early-30s, national-college-graduate = you must be smart!, perform well at everything!,
single old lady at 40

7. Have you ever been told you're not as good as other people? What part of you were they talking about? How did it make you feel?
compared to my brothers and sisters, feel not good enough
always compared to my younger sister, she can take care of anything well, so it means i'm not able to, but actually I'm just as capable.
my boss said I'm not as detail oriented as she is.
愛計較 = e.g, if my brother had 3 candies, I had to have 3 candies. "it's not fair!"
not tidy enough
not enough of a sense of humor
too tall = not short enough
too smart for my own good = too intellectual (people hate and fear you if you're seen as smarter than them in the US)
too nerdy

8. When you'll be doing something or taking a test, and you know you will be compared to somebody that you think is more advanced than you, what do you feel?
disappointed in advance, I'm sure I won't do well
under pressure
if I know someone is going to be better than me, I don't even want to bother doing it. "why should I bother when I know I'm gonna fail ?"

9. When you've done badly at something, do you feel like doing it again?
it depends. if I think I should have done better, then I'll try again.
I generally don't want to, but I might try anyways. It always makes it harder for me to do it the second time.
If I'm doing it for myself, I'll definitely keep trying to do it till I succeed.
If I know that I'm not that good at it, I won't try again.
if I'm doing it for me, I'll do it again, but if I'm doing it for sb else, I won't want to. Unless it's for work or something, then I'll still try to do.
If someone supports me, then I'll do it again, or if they trust I'll make it, then yes.


10. When people tell you they think you'll suck at something, do you feel you can do it anyhow? What if you already think you'll suck? What if you think you'll be fine?
If my parents said this, I'll definitly want to show them I can do it.
why is it so important to prove to your parents.
I want to gain their recognition.
If people tell me I'll suck at something, even if I know I'm good at it, I'll probably mess up in front of them.
If I go into something knowing that the people around me beleive in me, I'll do much better at it than normal.


11. When people tell you they think you'll do great at something do you feel more like you'll be able to do it? What if you already know you'll be fine? What if you're not sure you'll do well?
I'll doubt it, that I have this ability.
If I'm not sure I'll do well, I'll feel pressure.
so people telling you "you'll be fine" doesn't have an effect on you?
No.
Not on me either.

12. When did you first realize you were YOU and not part of something else? e.g. When did you first think of like your family as separate from you? How did you feel about it?
You guys have this much earlier. It was not till I was in my 30s.
For me, it's never. Because in Taiwan traditional society, it's hard to make a decision without thinking about your family. Even if I work by myself, have economic independence, but a lot of decisions, I still have to think about the effect on my family.
Yeah, we're not encouraged to do things on our own.
Whereas in the west, if you're still living at home at 23, you're seen as being defective in some way.
We really have to have practice to decide to do things on my own. Even buying a table! It was so hard to buy a table on my own!
What were you concerned about?
Because we need to consult with our parents on everything.
Holy cow.


13. When did you first realize you were a 'woman' or a 'girl'? What did you feel about it, if anything?
You know, an unmarried woman is called a girl, in Taiwan. A married woman is a woman. So, I'm still a girl, even though I'm 40 now.
And parents in taiwan will forever take care of their girls.
Like, my friend, she wore boys clothes for a long time when she was young, because she looked at men and women, and said, no way I'm a girl.
When I first got my period.
There was no particular time for me.
You know, there's no difference between a woman and a girl, I don't mind that i'm a girl.
when I was nine I thought girls had it better than boys, because we could wear pants and skirts, and they only got pants, and we got dolls and toy trucks, and they only got trucks.


14. When did you first realize the things you do had an effect on others, whether postive or negative? What did you feel about it?
I didn't really figure this out till I was 35. I always thought I didn't count
I figured out at an early age, that what I do I'll have an effect on my parents. I think Taiwanese people care a lot about their parents, so they don't dare to do what our parents don't like. So we just choose what our parents choose. Parents always say things like, 'what you do will hurt me.' 'we'll feel sad'. or 'this is for your own good.'
well, I lucked out, my parents really tried to encourage us to make our own decisions. but I've heard parents say, " how could you do this to me"
confucious said, your body was given you by your parents, if you hurt your body, you hurt your parents.
so is this why parents a re like, bu yao die dao, because they feel they're being hurt if their kids get hurt
I first realized I do have an effect on other people, when my younger brothers and sisters would consult with me on things.
well, strangely enough, my older sister consults with me about raising kids.
well, you know more than she does, you've studied more about it, you've thought more about it.
I had more conflicts than she did growing up.

15. Have you ever heard of this term "stereotype threat"?
It means:

"a situational predicament felt in situations where one can be judged by, treated in terms of, or self-fulfill negative sterotypes about one's group"

(predicament = 困境 = a difficult to solve problem)
=being in a certain situation places you in a difficult postion, where you can be seen to prove the existence of a stereotype, and get treated like the stereotype is true.
Or,

"Academic and intellectual performance is not simply contingent upon actual ability, but also the shared beliefs that people hold about the performance and abilities of different social groups."

how well you do is not just about your own abilities, but also depends on the expectations held of the group(s) you may belong to.

so, because I work in finance, people think that I should be knowlegable about stocks and bonds, but actually that's not my area of expertise.
like, because you're in music, you should be able to sing well
or because you're a gay man you should be interested in dressing fashionably.

Or, in the simplest terms,

"If you know that other people think you suck, you can't do your work or take tests as well, because you're distracted by the fear that they might be right."

so a stereotype is a kind of expectation placed on you by others.
whether it's a good expectation or a bad one.

"what you just said"
"what you just talked about"

so there was this movie about an autistic kid. I don't really remember the plot, but after this kid grew up, after the kid was already an adult, and doing well in their profession, when you heard someone talk about autistic people, you have like a picture in your mind of a boy or a girl?

Oh, a boy.

well it was a girl, so this was a kind of prejudice


So, the point of the writing exercise was to help people overcome the effect of stereotype threat. It worked for women in a physics course, they did way better on tests in the semester after the writing exercise. And in a study of black children in elementary school it was shown to have a persistent effect in helping the do better in academic work.

And it's so easy to do.

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