Group stereotypes create expectations. When those expectations are subverted, it can feel surprising, even notable—which can lead to what Northwestern’s Lauren Eskreis-Winkler and Chicago Booth’s Ayelet Fishbach call ‘surprised elaboration,’ or using more time or words to describe something exceptional. Looking at posters for missing children and medical reports for unidentified bodies, they find that this phenomenon can not only reveal biases, but can also have serious implications for which cases receive the most investment.

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