Addressing the Model Minority Myth from a Cognitive Perspective

Eleazar Cruz Eusebio*

Addressing the Model Minority Myth from a Cognitive Perspective. There has been a lot of emphasis on Asian Pacific Americans as the Model Minority as they are currently the fastest-growing minority demographic in the U.S. The U.S. Asian population grew 72% between 2000 and 2015 from 11.9 million to 20.4 million, the fastest growth rate.

A few months later, a similar article, “Success Story of One Minority Group in the United States” emerged in U.S. News and World Report3 portraying the success of Chinese Americans, yet making unparalleled comparisons that maligned African Americans. It is critical to look at the credibility of the Model Minority Myth from a cognitive perspective because the cognitive approach in psychology involves human behavior that focuses on how we think which, in turn, affects the way that we behave.

Americans in internment camps after World War II, the tables briefly turned in the 1970s. Later, the United States made formal apologies and signed legislation in a formal apology which paid out $20,000 in compensation to each surviving victim. However, the radical attitude shift was suspicious for Asian Pacific Americans who had become familiar with the “friend today, foe tomorrow” mentality as they were inadvertently refashioned as a political and social hammer against other disadvantaged groups by the government in the United States.

Although the stereotype initially seemed a positive one, it has perpetuated three inherent negative effects. First, and perhaps the most deleterious, is in the intergroup relations and how the
model minority myth pits Asian Pacific Americans against other groups targeted by racism in the United States. In addition, educational attainment data reveal wide variations among Asian Pacific Americans. Much of the data reported has often shown the demographic as achieving the highest level of education

Psychol Cogn Sci Open J. 2019; 5(2): e1-e3. doi: 10.17140/PCSOJ-5-e012