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Lecture 5

Lecture 5 - January 16th.docx

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McMaster University
Jennifer Ostovich

January 16, 2013 Positive Portrayals: Can’t win? Hattie McDaniel, actress from Gone With The Wind, was the first black person to ever win an Oscar (1939). She was chastised for playing a maid in the film, even though she was making more money than most white people at the time. The Cosby Show was heavily criticized because they were showing people a black family that couldn’t really exist; they were showing a “fake” family, which was considered to be unfair. Since people never really imagined a black successful family, that worked hard, people considered all other black families lazy and unsuccessful, therefore the show was reinforcing negative reactions to black families. Role of Personal Experience  Childhood inter-racial contact (Wood & Sonleitner, 1996)  Index of contact associated with adult stereotyping/prejudice - maybe a lot of contact with other groups in childhood can make you not believe all the stereotypes (before age 10, when you actually understand all the stereotypes)  Methodological issues Retrospective Amount of actual contact? Type of contact? Biases due to memory Asked: Did you live in a neighbourhood in which blacks lived? Did you attend a school that blacks attended? Did you belong to any clubs, churches, etc., that blacks also attended? - asking these questions did not necessarily mean that they interacted with them - the more contact they had, the less likely they were to endorse stereotypes and prejudice feelings - being in contact with other races at a young age therefore helps you accept people for who they are  Aronson’s jigsaw classroom - non-random assignment of children into groups to include people of all races, religions and both genders - the children are put into a group to work on a project where their success depends on each other because they have to learn from one another Positive interdependence—members of a group who share common goals perceive that working together is individually and collectively beneficial, and success depends on the participation of all of the members - no social loafing is possible, therefore no member can slack off and everyone will have to try their hardest and teach the other members of their group - thought to lead to harmony within groups - each child will view their group members as individuals, therefore heterogeneity - - jigsaw classroom may be one of the best routes to increase intergroup participation Type of Exposure  Contact can be positive or negative  If contact is positive, may debunk stereotypes  But cognitive effort - you could have a perfectly nice contact with an outgroup member which may then cause you to think that your stereotype is wrong, but it is cognitively difficult to encode every positive experience you have with an outgroup member If contact is negative  Reinforcement of existing stereotypes  Creation of new negative stereotypes Illusory correlation (shared distinctiveness)—when two distinct events co-occur, we assume they always co-occur e.g., a little green martian is peeing in a potted plant (a distinct event), you think that they all do this, they are gross, and you hate them, therefore forming a new stereotype - negative contact is more likely because you usually go into something thinking it is going to be negative - any new group you haven’t had much contact with, you feel uncomfortable - you can create new negative stereotypes with any outgroup member if they are new and distinctive to you Illusory Correlation  When two distinct (unusal) events co-occur, we assume that they always co- occur  Race  Behaviour  Research on this?  Hamilton & Gifford (1976) Vary distinctiveness of group size and type of behaviour BUT group size and type of behaviour are uncorrelated - if one gr
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