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Chapter 16: Social Behaviour (2)

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PSYC 1002
Lorena Ruci

Lecture 20: Chapter 16 Stereotypes  Characteristics attributed to people based on their group membership  Normal cognitive process, involve widely held social schemas of people who share certain characteristics  Mental shortcut  Discount information that is contrary to what we hold as being true  Why do we need stereotypes? o They save cognitive energy, e.g. all judges are honest, all Italians are mobsters, all women like to shop o Simplify experience and allow for quick and effortless categorization  However, over-generalized, inaccurate, resistant to new information  Perception is subjective; people tend to see what they expect  Stereotype Threat: describes anxiety/discomfort a person experiences when there’s potential for them to confirm a negative stereotype others hold for them (math and women) o Stress arousal o Performance monitoring (narrows attention) o Efforts to suppress negative emotions o Co consumed that your cognitive and executive function suffer  Self-fulfilling Prophecy: a false definition that elicits certain behaviour and ultimately leads to the original false conception to become true o Defining role of expectations (Oedipus effect) o Re-defining expectations breaks the cycle of self-fulfilling prophecies Prejudice and Discrimination  Prejudice: pre-judgment based on stereotypes  Discrimination: the behavioural component (the action)  Observational learning: seeing prejudice and then discriminating  Operant conditioning: people who hold prejudicial views don’t confront object, but avoid interaction with those people, so there’s no opportunity to discredit prejudicial views  Illusory Correlation: over-estimating confirmations of associations, e.g. it always rains when I have the day off  Spotlight Effect: assuming our behaviour and features are more salient to others; egocentric tendency, e.g. spilling drink at a party very likely not to be noticed at all  Subjectivity in Person Perception: memory errors, e.g. vivid memories for events confirming stereotypes or biases Racial Stereotypes*  “When prejudice doesn’t pay”: Effects of interracial contact on executive functioning (Richeson & Shelton, 2003)  Purpose: examine the influence of interracial interaction on cognitive functioning  White participants interacted with either white/black confederates o Prior measure of racial attitudes o Complete Stroop task  Hypothesis: stereotypes would disrupt performance on Stroop  Results: highly prejudiced people performed worse and engaged in self-regulation, compared to non-prejudiced individuals  Moral: racial stereotypes make people stupid Exposure to Racial Prejudice*  Cognitive costs of exposure to racial stereotypes (Salvatore & Shelton, 2007).  Purpose: examine exposure to racial stereotypes on affected stereotyped groups/minorities)  Have people (white & black) read ambiguous or blatant stereotyped hiring recommendations  Completed Stroop task  Results: cognitive impairment depended on racial group and ambiguous vs. blatant cues to prejudice  Whites were impaired more when reading blatant prejudice  Blacks were impaired when reading ambiguous prejudice  Moral: prejudice, dominant groups and minorities affect everyone. Especially when prejudice is ambiguous. Attribution Processes: Explaining Behaviour  Attributions: inferences about causes of events, behaviour (subjective) o Internal: explaining behaviour based on unique, personal dispositions, e.g. personality, emotionality, intellect, etc.
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