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Lecture 15

Lecture 15.pdf

Course Code
PSYC 215
Donald Taylor

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More than just consensus. Influence how we judge and perceive other people.
Categorize them into a group. Led to explosion of research, the kind citizens don’t
value. Social psychologists looked a different stereotypes of groups. Descriptive
research, anyone can do it. Weren’t dealing with why science question: why do we have
them, how do they function? Instead: what is the stereotype of each group? No real
insights about how they operate. Good of descriptive work, finally someone took
trouble of pulling all in together and looked at the findings. If you look at the traits, eve
though there is 84, you can categorize traits into 2:
1. Incompetent but sociably desirable
2. Competent but socially undesirable
No often that you got incompetent and socially undesirable (vice versa). When you
add power, you discover powerful groups, advantaged groups, usually stereotyped
as: competent but socially undesirable (not nice), groups low in power: not
competent but socially desirable (nice- women).
How do these stereotypes play important function? Serve as legitimizing myths. Any
society, collection of groups in contact, are arranged hierarchically, those who
belong to high status group want to remain in position: would never give away
privileges to another group. How do you protect it? Group on bottom wants more.
Completion. Can be stronger and more powerful, you are bigger and stronger.
OR convince them that they should be where they are. You are just where you
should be. This is exactly the way we want it, if can convince not competent but
socially desirable, you should be proud of that. PEREFECT WAY to keep low status
group happy in low status position.
1. Stereotype legitimizes position: to keep low in low status, convince they
don’t deserve to be higher, not competent enough, but socially desirable and
should be proud.
2. Group in powers best interest to have stereotype. Promote stereotype (even
their own).
3. Manipulative maintenance of unequal society
4. Not too far, other groups will rebel: sociable.
5. Ex. Nerdy scientists
When power is involved, must sell stereotypes. Sell the status. Incompetent but
socially desirable. If stereotype is out there, and it is pushed after some time, low
status will internalize the stereotype as real: I am not so smart, I don’t deserve to
be high.
o Hard to sell status: incompetent and socially undesirable- group pushes
back, nothing to loose.
o Competent and desirable- hard to believe. You are perfect, and we are
losing at everything.
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