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Chapter 6

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Chapter 6 PSYC12 11/04/2011
Experiencing Prejudice
-Researchers have taken the view that prejudice originated and was maintained within the majority
perceiver of the minority target
-People try to fit in with the majority so they will not be singled out for ridicule or treated negatively by others
oOvert in children who have not learned socially sophisticated methods of disapproval
oAdults negative evaluations take the form of subtle negative comments, rude behaviour etc.
oUnusual characteristics that engender negative evaluations
-Group identification
oResearch indicates that individual that face external threats show stronger ingroup identification
oDoosje and Ellemers (1997)
๎€Found that people differ in the degree to which they identify with their stigmatized group
โ€ขHigh identifiers are more likely to associate themselves with their group even when it
has a negative image
โ€ขHigh identifiers derive much of their self esteem from their identification as a group
โ€ขLow identifiers are much more likely to dissociate themselves from the group
especially when it has a negative image
oMore individualistic and opportunistic, they will only identify with the group
when it has a positive image
-Stereotype threat
oIndividuals in stereotyped groups often find themselves vigilant about not behaving in way that
confirm stereotypes about oneโ€™s group
๎€Engage in performance limiting behaviour in order to provide them with a ready excuse for
their expected poor performance on the stereotype relevant dimension
oResearch indicates that for many stereotypes the negative implications of confirming the stereotype
are important enough that they can impair oneโ€™s ability to behave in counter stereotypic way
๎€Anxiety one feels in thinking about possibly confirming the stereotype can be impair oneโ€™s
performance on the stereotype relevant dimension
๎€Recent research suggests that stereotype threat has its effects through the mediating
influence of a drop in working memory capacity (Schmader and Johns, 2003)
oEffects of stereotype threat are especially likely to occur in people who strongly identify with the
group about which the stereotype exists
๎€Recent research shows that people under stereotype threat actually fare worse
physiologically than their non threatened counterparts (Blasovich, Spencer, Quinn, and
Steele, 2001)
โ€ขBlack participants in threatened condition showed higher blood pressure than non
threatened counterparts
oStereotype life (Walton and Cohen, 2003)
๎€Nonstigmatized persons seem to experience a performance enhancement when they
engage in a downward comparison between themselves and a member of a stereotyped
oEvidence accumulated to date indicates support for the notion that stereotypes about oneโ€™s group
can impair oneโ€™s performance on salient ego and identity relevant tasks
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Chapter 6 PSYC12 11/04/2011
oIndividuals disengage their identity from the achievement domain in question such that their self
esteem and sense of self competence is preserved and shielded from the negative effects of
associating identity with performance on a stereotype relevant dimension
oDisidentified stigmatized individuals agree that the stereotype threat dimension is important, it is
not important for their self identity
oEx. Belief that achievement in academics is something that whites can accomplish, and African
Americans who aspire to academic achievement are selling out and disidentifying themselves from
their African American identity
oSocial Identity theory (Tajfel and Turner, 1986)
๎€We derive our identity and self esteem through 2 avenues
โ€ขThrough our own accomplishments
โ€ขThrough group membership
๎€When one belongs to a devalued or threatened group continued identification with the
group threatens oneโ€™s self esteem leading to disidentify with their ingroup in roder to protect
oneโ€™s self esteem
oLee and Ottati, 1995
๎€Negative stereotypes that are inconsistent with the ingroup lead to ingroup solidarity and
๎€Negative stereotype consistent threat lead to ingroup heterogeneity
oReduction of Stereotype threat
๎€Important to enhance the individualโ€™s identification with the stereotype threatened domain
๎€Steele, 1998
โ€ขUsed 3 ways to reduce stereotype threat in African American college freshmen
oStudents were honorifically recruited for the program with an emphsis ont
heir being bright enough to have been admitted
oStudents participated in weekly seminars to get to know each other and
share common problems
oParticipants attended subject matter workshops that exposed them to
advanced material outside the material discussed in class
-Self Esteem
oPerceived controllability fo the stigma factors into the level of protection than an individual is able to
provide for his or her self esteem (Crocker and Major, 1994)
๎€Individuals who believe their condition is controllable are more liley to feel that negative
evaluations of them are justified, and will be more likely to feel lower self esteem
๎€Individuals who believe that oneโ€™s stigma is uncontrollable will lead them to resist the blame
for the stigma, to attribute negative evaluations to prejudice and maintain self esteem
oAfrican Americans area distinctive minority group, and by embracing their distinctiveness and their
positive racial identity, they maintain self esteem as high / or higher than White Americans (Gray โ€“
Little and Hafdahl, 2000)
๎€Base their self worth on not how others view them but by other African Americans
-Denial of Discrimination
oStigmatized persons show acknowledgment in that their group suffers discrimination and prejudice
in society but will claim that they have not had such experiences
๎€Allows the person to avoid the uncomfortable reality that the world may not be fair and that
their life might be affected by their stigma
oPerception of behaviour of another person as discrimination or prejudice is affected by 2 factors
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