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PSYC 2310 Lecture Notes - Social Identity Theory, Circadian Rhythm, In-Group Favoritism

Course Code
PSYC 2310
Anneke Olthof

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Nov. 15, 2012
Well-Known Stereotypes
- Why are stereotypes objectionable?
o 1. The implicit ethnocentrism
Ex. when we say Americans are ignorant, the implicit ethnocentrism is that we
(Canadians) are smart and we know everything
o 2. The implication that perceived differences are inborn and unalterable
Ex. These differences are inborn; (ex. All Asians are bright and good at math… these are
not skills, not influenced by our culture)
(Brown, 1965)
- Lippmann (1922), a political journalist, described stereotype as the “pictures in our heads.
o A way of molding or creating an image from something.
How Do Stereotypes Form?
- Social categorization
o The basic factor of understanding stereotype. Once you categorize people, in any dimension
(gender, ethnicity, age, ability, education, religion, etc.) we end to prefer in-group over out-group
o Grouping people on the basis of gender ethnicity, and other attributes
o Consequences of categorical thinking is:
In-group favouritism
Out-group homogeneity (we overestimate other groups similarity)
Social Identity Theory
- Social identity is part of an individual’s self-concept that is based on the knowledge of one’s group
membership and the value and emotional significance attached to that membership (Tajfel, 1978).
o First aspect: membership; you are a member of your group (psych major, Canadian, student)
o Second aspect: the value you associate with that membership how good or bad is that
o Third aspect is emotional attachment with the group you identify with.
- Assumptions of social identity theory:
o People categorize the social world into in-groups and out-groups
o Part of our self-concept is defined in terms of group affiliation
o People strive for a positive self-concept want to see ourselves positively
o People prefer to view members of in-group positively rather than negatively; by perceiving our
group positively, we increase our self-esteem because this reflects on us
Is Stereotype Inevitable?
- Stereotype as automatic process
o Subliminal presentation (Devine, 1989)
Showed people series of images on a computer screen. These images presented so
quickly people couldn’t read them. These images were random things like “basketball”,
“welfare”. These were meant to create stereotypes against African-American. People
who saw basketball, unemployed, etc. things that are related to blacks, they’re more
likely to view African-Americans negatively. Thought they were more likely to rob a
convenience store, for example.
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