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Prejudice: A Psychological Perspective  prejudice is prejudgement/judgement of someone based on stereotypes and biases Prejudice  1954 Robbers Cave experiment by Muzafer Sherif that studied the roots of prejudice between 2 groups  twenty-two 11 year-old boys were divided into 2 groups at a camp  each group bonded during regular camp activities, and created group names and flags, and they were unaware of the other group’s existence  when the groups were allowed to find each other, intergroup conflict soon emerged in the form of name calling and singing mean-spirited songs about the other group  the experiment demonstrated how quickly and easily individuals identify with a group and create conflict with those outside that group  the behaviour of the boys in Sherif’s experiment through:  ingroup: a social group formed when its members identify with one another  any social group to which an individual feels they belong to  outgroup: a social group toward which an individual feels disrespect/opposition; sometimes treated badly by the ingroup  any individuals who don’t belong to the social group in which another individual feels they belong to  an ingroup is formed when members identify with one another (ex: when your school competes with another, ingroups and outgroups are clearly defined and obvious on the field/arena  ingroups don’t necessarily behave in a hostile way toward outgroups (it’s a sense of belonging that bonds them)  most individuals belong to many ingroups  sometimes hostile behaviour is used to reinforce a group’s identity and sense of belonging; hostility toward outgroups help strengthen an ingroup’s sense of belonging  attachment to one group doesn’t necessarily mean hostility toward another  however, ingroups require something that differentiates them from other groups that indicates who is “in” and who is “out” (differentiation involves defining who is part of “us” and who is not, thus causing ingroups to therefore imply the existence of outgroups)  example: anyone who isn’t part of the basketball team are an outgroup; however this doesn’t mean the team members view others as inferior  hate crimes have a great effect on its victims, causing psychological distress (depression, stress, PTSD, anger)  hate crimes target people for features of their identity  most people who commit hate crimes appear normal, but in fact they are aggressive, anti-social, have a family history of violence/abuse  some researchers suggest that perpetrators of hate crimes use the defence mechanism of projection, whereby the unconsciously direct feelings about themselves onto another person to help cope with their own abuse  to reduce hate crimes, we need to challenge stereotypes, reduce intergroup conflicts, and encourage understanding and appreciation of other diversities—individuals need to take a stand  even when we consciously try not to judge people based on their appearance, our brains do so anyway  a study shows our brains need only 38 milliseconds to judge trustworthiness in the faces of those we’ve just met  our brains look for 3 things in a person: signs of dominance (violence), strong facial features (anger), and symmetry (attractiveness)  our unconscious biases aren’t always trustworthy—in some cases, participants could accurately tell the difference between whether or not someone was lying only 50% of the time Scapegoating  scapegoating is the pushing of blame and responsibility away from oneself and onto others  a person’s anger and hostility are projected outward at the scapegoat target, leading to an “us vs. them” mentality, which can lead to serious negative consequences  the individuals (such as those in an outgroup such as a nation) can be targeted individually or as a whole  targeting a scapegoat could be a psychological defence mechanism that protects the perpetrator from feeling unacceptable emotions (honesty and guilt)  self-deception could be involved in scapegoating because the accuser denies their own feelings f shame and guilt; since the denial is done unconsciously, it is difficult for the accuser to stop them self from scapegoating Promoting Heroism  Zimbardo (Stanford Prison experiment) is researching heroism, and believes each of us have the potential to be a hero  Zimbardo hopes to demystify how people choose to be heroes, so more people can feel as if they can make a positive difference in the lives of those around them  Zimbardo believes from his research so far that for children, they need to foster “heroic imaginations” in order for heroism later on in life Jane Elliot: Brown Eyes/Blue Eyes  in 1968, elementary school teacher Jane Elliot conducted an experiment in her classroom in an effort to change the way the kids thought about racism and prejudice  in response to M
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