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Social Distance and Misidentification

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image of International Journal of Comparative Sociology
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The present study examines the impact of national and ethnic divisions on misidentification. In that respect this study is the first of its kind. The study of misidentification on the national level involves a comparison of Israeli and Canadian samples, while the cross-ethnic aspect of the study relies on a comparison of three ethnic groups within the Israeli sample. The findings from the experimental test of identification ability reveal that national distinction (Canadian-Israeli), as well as the inter-society grouping (Ashkenazic-Sephardic-Arab), affect the amount of both types of errors: nonidentification and false identification. The comparison of the ethnic distance (within society) to the national distance (between societies) suggests that the national distance separating societies is far more powerful as a cause for both types of errors than the ethnic distance separating groups within a society.


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