Lecture 8 PSY220
Stereotypes, Prejudice, and Discrimination
Raise Your Hand
• If you have ever been stereotyped or the target of prejudice or discrimination
• If you know anyone who is prejudiced towards a certain group
• If you observe prejudiced attitudes or discriminatory behavior on a regular basis
More than half a million collegestudents are targets of biasdriven slurs or physical
At least one hate crime occurs on a college campus
A college student sees or hears racist, sexiest, homophobic or otherwise biased words or
Several fraternities and sororities
threw a “ghetto” party, where
white students dressed as urban
African Americans, and a
Sorority hed 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.’ It’s an everyday experience.”
Gay students quoted in a college newspaper
“I hate your race, I want you all to
die,” was sent to more than 40
faculty members with Hispanic
Someone used permanent
Markers to scrawl
“Rape all Asian bitches”
and other hate messages
on campus walls.
Big Picture Questions
1. Why do people think, feel, and act this wa?
2. Can we – can you – do you anything about it?
Plan for Today
• Build a common vocabulary
Stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination
• Psychological roots of dislike
• Can we change?
• People often use the terms “stereotype,” “prejudice,” and “discrimination”
• These terms are all intimately related.
• But, they refer to different aspects of disliking others.
The ABCs of Disl ke (a pie graph showing the ABC)
Prejudice: how we feel about members of a group
Stereotype: our beliefs about other groups
Discrimination: negative behavior directed toward members of a group
Close your eyes and imagine what a cheerleader looks like.
• We have schemas for different “types” of people
• These often called “person schemas”
• When we activate these schemas we see “little pictures in our heads” of the
once these pictures pop up, so does relevant information about “type of person”
Beliefs that certain attributes are characteristic of members of particular groups
• An attitudinal and affective response toward a certain group and its individual
• It is possible to have either positive or negative prejudicial feelings
However, prejudice is usually used to describe the latter
• Typically not socially acceptable to express prejudice and to discriminate • Creates conflict between what people really think and feel what they express to
(in context of WhiteBlack relations)
Rejecting of explicitly racist beliefs while maintaining an enduring suspicion and
animosity toward African Americans
Job Application Study
• White participants evaluated black and white applicants to college
• Participants took Attitudes Towards Blacks Scale
High score: prejudice towards blacks
Low score: not prejudice toward blacks
Job Application Study
Three “types of applications
Clearly exceptional: high marks & high SAT scores
Clearly below par: low marks & low SAT scores
Mixed credentials: high marks but low SATs; low marks but high SATs
Job Application Study
• 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 favorably than nonprejudiced
participants when they had mixed credentials.
Indirect Measures of Prejudice
• Implicit Association Test (IAT) Implicit Association Test
• Measure of implicit prejudice
• Assesses strength of associations between concepts by measuring response
• Idea: on average, people should be faster to associate Black faces with negative
words and White faces with positive words
A slide showing Black and White Faces
• Tap left index finger for White or good
• Tap right finger for Black or bad
• Tap left index for Black or good
• Tap right finger for White or bad
Which Task was easier?
Implication Association Test
• Over a million of people have taken it
• 2/3 of Whites (and 1.3 of Blacks) show strong or moderate preference for White
• Other domains, e.g., both young and old people show prejudice in favour of
young over old
• Scores on the IAT predict behavior
• People with unconscious prejudice toward Blacks
Spoke to Black experimenter less frequently
Smiled led frequently at Black experimenter
Hesitated more frequently when speaking to Black experimenter Discrimination
• Harmful or negative behaviors directed toward members of particular groups
• Can be blatant or more subtle
• Looked at discrimination against gays and lesbians among landlords in Ontario
• Callers identified themselves as gay or lesbian or did not mention sexual
• Landlords said apartment was unavailable more often when caller was gay or
Job Interview Study
• Graduate students from a Texas university interviewed for jobs at different stores
in a mall
• 16 of them (8 male & 8 females)
• Posed as either “obviously gay” or “assumed heterosexual”
A slide showing 2 hats for Obviously Gay & Assumed Heterosexual
Job Interview Study
• Applicants did not know which hat they were wearing
• Applicants had small tape recorders concealed in their front pockets to record the
• Applicants all asked a standard set of 4 questions
• Who was discriminated against?
• Job availability
• Permission to complete a job application
• Job call back • Permission to use the bathroom
A bar graph showing the results of Formal Discrimination
• Interaction length
• Numbers of words spoken
• Applicants’ perceptions of employer negativity
• Outside observer’s perceptions of employer negativity
Words Length Perceived Coded
Gay 111 3 min, 45 sec 3.84 4.40
“Straight” 169 4 min, 5 sec 2.94 4.01
Dutch film director, TV producer, publicist & actor
On Nov 2, 2004 van Gogh was killed by Mohammad Bouyeri while riding his bike in
Amsterdam. Bouyeri shot van Gogh repeatedly with an automatic hand gun, stabbed him
with a butcher’s knife, slit his throat in a ritualistic manner, and tried to behead him.
When this failed, he nailed two letters to von Gogh’s body with a second knife, one of
which called for jihad and the fall of the United States and Europe.
Why was he murdered?
He made a film (Submission) that tells stories of 4 Muslim women who ask for God’s
• One was forced to marry a man she hates
• One was raped and made pregnant by her uncle
• One was whipped after she had sex with her boyfriend
• One was repeatedly beaten by her husband One of several Muslim mosques and schools vandalized after van Gogh’s murder
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 explanation
• Stereotypes are:
Byproducts of how people think
Shortcuts 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.
Morning vs. Night People
• Students more likely to stereotype at the low point of their circadian rhythm.
• “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, for example, a black person was guilty when
charged wth dealing drugs when they were tested in the morning.
cognitive resources, but
what is gained as efficiently
is paid for by inaccuracy.
What Gives Rise to Error?
1. We divide into “us” versus “them.”
2. We notice stereotype consistent information.
3. We act in ways that encourage the behavior that we expect.
4. We do not give up our stereotypes easily. 1. “Us” versus “Them”
• Ingroup bias: people tend to automatically favour ingroups over outgroups
• Outgroups homogeneity: people tend to assume that outgroups are more
similar than ingroups
• When researchers measured attitudes of over 3,000 C