We have no idea! But I suspect it takes at least four summers in Chicago, and, given his enthusiasm for it, probably more. And that, my fellow citizens, is a lot of fun!
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“What we found is that those individuals who are less experienced in being social and less skilled at interacting with others with their own social capabilities do worse. So, for example, if you don’t have the knowledge and skill of being a good listener, but when you are in the presence of people of different races, the knowledge might be different. Your sense of fairness is going to be different,” said Dr. Shuman.
Dr. Shuman has spent more than 40 years conducting research on racial prejudice. But she found that people’s attitudes toward one another also change when they think about their own social capabilities.
For example, a “good” and “bad” self can also change from person to person, said Dr. Shuman, who is also on the faculty of McGill University in Montreal.
“People of a certain race or ethnicity will be more prone to prejudging each other. So they will be more prejudiced toward each other’s races than toward each other’s social capabilities. At the same time, however, the ability to detect these subtle differences and then to adjust to them to one’s advantage, to become better individuals, increases with the social background of a person,” she said.
Dr. Shuman and her colleagues, in a study reported recently in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, have come up with a new way to measure social ability — social sensitivity.
“We want to measure the differences between people’s social sensitivity and their prejudice. We do this in a number of different ways. One, it has been done, that is, using a version of a test that we have taken, called the Social Sensitivity Scale,” said Dr. Shuman.
But in a recent study she developed a modified version of the task.
“The key aspect of that is that you assess a person’s ability to detect social cues and then to adjust one’s attitude to the social cues based on the cues.”
Using that modified version, the researchers found that “good” self can increase by 20 points in those who self-identify as having “good” or “moderate” sociability. “It is the same relationship between social sensitivity and social sensitivity as the one between intelligence
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