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Lecture 8

Lecture 8 - Stereotypes, Prejudice, and Discrimination

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Emily Impett

PSY220H5 – Social Psychology Lecture 8 – November 14, 2013 Stereotypes, Prejudice, and Discrimination Introduction - Every year more than half a million college students are targets of bias-driven slurs or physical assaults - Everyday at least one hate crime occurs on a college campus - Every minute a college student sees or hears racist, sexist, and homophobic or otherwise biased words or images. Darthmouth College - Several fraternities and sororities threw a “ghetto” party, where white students dressed as urban African Americans, and a Sorority held a “slave” auction as a fundraising event On the Washroom Walls - “I can‟t walk into a bathroom without seeing something like „Fags should die‟. Its an everyday experience.” o Gay student quotes in a college newspaper UCLA - “I hate your race. I want you all to die,” was sent to more than 40 faculty members with Hispanic surnames Stanford - Someone used permanent markers to scrawl “Rape all Asian bitches” and other hate messages on campus walls Big Picture Questions: - What do people think, feel, and act this way? - Can we – can you – do anything about it? Plan for Today: - Build a common vocabulary o Stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination - Psychological roots of dislike - Can we change? – what can we do to reduce stereotypes? Build a Common Vocabulary Vocabulary - People often use the terms “stereotype”, “prejudice”, and “discrimination” synonymously - These terms are all intimately related - But, they refer to different aspects of disliking others The ABCs of Dislike - Affect Prejudice: how we feel about members of a group - Behavior Discrimination: Negative behavior directed toward members of a group - Cognition Stereotypes: our beliefs about other groups o That certain attributes are characteristics of members of a certain groups o Example: All Italians have bad tempers, or Asians work hard o Can either positive or negative, or have aspects that are true or false o Whether they are true or not, they are a way of categorizing people PSY220H5 – Social Psychology Lecture 8 – November 14, 2013 Schemas Return - We have schemas for different “types” of people o Example: Jocks, medical school students - These are often called “person schemas” - When we activate these schemas we see “little pictures in our heads” of the typical person o Once these pictures pop up, so does relevant information about that “type of person” Stereotypes - Beliefs that certain attributes are characteristic of members of particular groups - In the case of a cheerleader, not only does the stereotype is about how they look, but also contains about other characteristics of cheerleaders (I.E., intelligence) Prejudice - An attitudinal and affective (emotional) response toward a certain group and its individual members o This is about prejudging others - It is possible to have either positive or negative prejudicial feelings o However, prejudice is usually used to describe the latter Recent(ish) Changes - Typically not (less) socially acceptable to express prejudice and to discriminate - Creates conflict between what people really think and feel and what they express to others Modern Racism (in context of White-Black relations) - People hold egalitarian attitudes that reject prejudice, and others have other attiudes that reject certain groups - Rejection of explicitly racist beliefs while maintain and enduring suspicion and animosity toward African Americans Job Application Study - White participants evaluated black and white applicants to college - Participants took Attitudes Toward Blacks Scale o High score: prejudiced toward blacks o Low score: not prejudiced toward blacks - The “types” of applications o Clearly exceptional: high marks and high SAT scores o Clearly below par: low marks and low SAT scores o Mixed credentials: high marks but low SATs; low marks but high SATs) - High and low prejudice participants rated white and black applicants the same when they excelled on or were below par on all dimensions - Prejudice participants rated black applicants less favourably than non-prejudiced participants when they had mixed credentials o When there was a clear case whether student should be admitted or rejected, their prejudice remained hidden; whereas when the applicant had mixed credentials, the participants prejudice was obvious and shown Indirect Measures of Prejudice PSY220H5 – Social Psychology Lecture 8 – November 14, 2013 - Implicit Association Test (IAT) o Based on the idea that if we have underlying prejudice for a particular group, we would unconsciously associate this group with negative ideas/opinions Implicit Association Test - Measure of implicit prejudice o Can be used to measure prejudice for black-white relations, even for the elderly - Assesses strength of associations between concepts by measuring response latencies - Idea: on average, people should be faster to associate Black faces with negative words and White faces with positive words - Over a million of people have taken it - 2/3 of Whites and (1/2 of blacks) show strong or moderate preference for white over black o People who perform this task tend to have a strong unconscious association between white people and positive words, and black people with negative words - Other domains, example: both young and old people show prejudice in favour of young over old Who Cares? - Scores on the IAT predict behavior o Towards members of different groups in a real world setting - People with unconscious prejudice toward blacks o Spoke to black experimenter less frequently o Smile less frequently at black experimenter o Hesitated more frequently when speaking to black experimenter Discrimination - Harmful or negative behaviors directed toward members of particular groups o Can come in many forms, and in particular it can be - Can be blatant or more subtle o We will look at this concept with people who are gay Blatant Discrimination - Looked at discrimination against gays and lesbians among landlords in Ontario - Callers identified themselves as gay or lesbian or did not mention sexual orientation - Landlords said apartment was unavailable ore often when caller was gay or lesbian than when they didn‟t mention their sexual orientation (where they assumed they were heterosexual) Job Interview Study - Graduate students from a Texas university interviewed for jobs at different stores in a mall - 16 of them (8 males and 8 female) - Posed as either “obviously gay” or “assumed heterosexual” - The applicants either wore a hat that was obviously gay saying “gay and proud” or another hat that had a “Proud Texas” on it o Applicants did not know which hat they were wearing o So they were blind to which condition they were in - Applicants had small tape recorders concealed in their front pockets to record the interviews - Applicants all asked a standard set of 4 questions PSY220H5 – Social Psychology Lecture 8 – November 14, 2013 - Who was discriminated against? Formal Discrimination - Job availability  yes or no if the job was available - Permission to complete a job application - Job call back - Permission to use the washroom - Results: o Across these four measures, there weren‟t major differences between the two confederates (assumed heterosexual or gay) Interpersonal Discrimination - Interaction length (minutes and seconds) - Number of words spoken - Applicants‟ perceptions of employer negativity - Outside observers‟ perceptions of employer negativity - Results: o All the measures of the subtle form of interpersonal discrimination, there were differences between these two groups o When the applicant was assumed to be heterosexual, the number of words and the length of conversation was long o It was these interpersonal interactions where we see the prejudice arise Vicious Cycle - Although we tend to notice and care about prejudice that majority feels towards minority groups - Prejudice and discrimination don‟t go into one direction Theo van Gogh (1957-2004) - Why was he murdered? - He made a film (Submission) that tells stories of 4 Muslim women who ask for God‟s help o One was forced to marry a man she hates o One was raped and made pregnant by her uncle o One was whipped after she has sex with her boyfriend o One was repeatedly beaten by her husband - In response to the murder of van Gogh, one of several Muslim mosques and schools were vandalized Psychological Roots of Dislike - Thousands of studies have tried to answer this question - Dozens of different explanations exist - No single cause - Two major classes of explanations: o Cold approach – due to the fact that we are cognitive misers and we have lmited resources to process all the info in our social world o Hot approach – focus on role of the motivation and emotion in shaping our tendencies of experimenting bias toward members of other groups “Cold” Approach (Cognitive Perspective) - Stereotypes are: PSY220H5 – Social Psychology Lecture 8 – November 14, 2013 o By-products of how people think o Short-cuts that we take to make sense of other people and groups - This logic suggests that stereotypes are inevitable - We are particularly likely to use stereotypes when we are overloaded or tired due to the fact we have limited resources to process things in our social environment Morning vs. Night People - A study showed that students more likely to stereotype at the low point of their circadian rhythm - Another study showed that “morning people” more likely to think that, for example, an athlete charged with cheating on an exam was guilty when tested at night - “Night people” more likely to think that, for example, a black person was guilty when charged with dealing drugs when they were tested in the morning Stereotypes conserve cognitive resources, but what is gained as efficiency is paid for by inaccuracy - This benefit comes with a huge cost - Not all category memories are captured by a stereotype o Example: not all Asians are good at math - It can lead to mistaken and unfair impressions of judgments of other people What Gives Rise to Error? - We divide into categories of “us” versus “them” o The in-group being the best, and out-group not as good as the in-group - We notice stereotype consistent information - We act in ways that encourage the behavior that we expect o Self-fulfilling prophecy - We do not give up our stereotypes easily o When we encounter info that is not consistent with our stereotype, we do not want to change our thoughts and opinions (1) “Us” Versus “Them” - In-group bias: people tend to automatically favor in-groups over out-groups - Out-group homogeneity: people tend to assume that out-groups are more similar than in-groups In-Group Bias - When researchers measured attitudes of over 3,000 Canadians toward 14 ethnic groups, people liked own ethnic group the most (over other ethnic groups) - Fans a home games of McGill University hockey team rated opposing teams higher in arrogance and aggressiveness than their own team - This tendency to favour the in-group is so pervasive, that it has shown that bias exist even in the most minimal cases Minimal Group Paradigm - Participants perform a trivial task - Told based on their behavior that they are assigned to a particular group (but really randomly assigned) - Participants never learn who is in which group PSY220H5 – Social Psychology Lecture 8 – November 14, 2013 Are you a Klee or a Kandinsky person? - Participants were asked to expressed opinions of artists they never heard of -
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