The Mini Golf Enthusiast

A Mini Blog About a Mini Sport

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Mini Golf, Social Science, and Stereotypes

Mini golf used for science? Yes. Recently, the ABC program 20/20 revisted some "old" (at least six years), but nontheless interesting research that finds that sterotypes significantly and adversely affect the performance of groups targeted by the stereotypes. The program asked The Kaplan Educational and Test Prep company to repeat an experiment measuring how well women scored on a math test after watching television commercials containing "ditzy" women. They find (in their admittedly unscientific experiment) that women who watched the commercials scored a surprising 38% lower than women who did not view the advertisements.

Where does mini golf fit into all of this? Another experiment of this type conducted several years ago by Jeff Stone, a pyschologist at the University of Arizona, tested blacks' and whites' ability to play mini golf. Some participants were told that the course would test their "natural ability" while others were told that the course would test the "ability to think strategically." Black participants scored 4 strokes higher than their white counterparts when told that the course tested "natural ability," while whites scored 4 strokes better when told the course testes strategic thinking skills. Who says mini golf isn't serious business?

Image: altuwa

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