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Lecture 9

PSYB10H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Cognitive Load, Cognitive Miser, Ultimate Attribution Error

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Lecture 9
Intergroup relations, stereotyping and Prejudice
Readings - pp. 371 415 (CH.12) and Gutsell & Inzlicht (2010)
- In-group - a social group to which you belong ( can be any group gender, ethnicity, nation,
school, clubs your part of etc)
- Out group a social group to which you do not belong (e.g. I am a u of t student thus, can’t be a
York student don’t identify with that group )
- Intergroup processes situations, cognitions , beliefs and feelings that arise from different
groups interact with or think about each other
Social identity theory a diffuse but interrelated set of social psychological theories about
when and why individuals identify (associate it with the self) with and behave as a part of, social
- Assumptions of social identity theory we all have a need for positive self regard which we
achieve by our own achievements and identification with the achievements of the social groups
we belong to
- By indentifying with in-groups you gain positive regard (group is successful thus I am successful)
Four main components of social identity theory
- Categorization people naturally group other objects intro groups which creates in group-out
group distinction
- Tendency to organize our social world into in groups and out groups however, by doing this we
create such a distinction between the two groups
- We categorize groups due to cognitive miser (is a heuristic) idea that we have a limited amount
of cognitive resources that we can spend on any given problem thus we the cognitive miser (a
heuristics ) which a mental shortcut that allows distinguish between different groups
- Categorize people on the basis of shared features can create minimal groups
- Maintains social order
- Minimal groups in-groups and out-groups formed on trivial, highly context specific features
(e.g. blue versus yellow t-shirts distributed in the lab = forms 2 groups yellow vs. blue )
- Study participants come into a lab in groups, asked to estimate the # of dots on a page,
randomly assigned to groups over estimators or under estimators, lastly, they asked
participants to rate each group and allocate study payment to fellow in-group or out group
- Results over estimators though under estimators as less likable, kind, and effective than over
estimators while the under estimators viewed over estimators as less likable, kind, and
effective than under estimators
- Over estimators distributed much less money to under estimators while under estimators
distributed much less money to over estimators
- Group categorization occurs rapidly and even trivially
- Identification the processes of associating the self with certain in groups, bolsters self esteem
and effects of social identity theory are dependent on identification with the group

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- Comparison we compare in groups without groups seeing a favorable bias toward the group
to which belong
- In group favoritism belief that the in-group is good across a variety of characteristics and more
deserving of good things helps maintain positive status of group and therefore positive self
- Just being a member in that group makes us feel that our group and we are the best thus
deserve good things
- Allocate more resources for the in- group members of my group deserve good things
- Self serving attributions good behaviour by in group member internal attributions versus bad
behaviour by in group member external attribution
- In-groups like to hear more good things about there group rather than hearing bad things about
the out-group
- Out-group derogation belief that the out-group is bad across a variety of characteristics and
less deserving of good things
Ultimate attribution error if one out-group member behaves badly we
stereotype by saying the whole group is bad
Rate out-group characteristics as less favorable than in-group characteristics
Allocate less resources to out-group members
Pay attention to info that confirms stereotypes and ignore stereotypes that are
inconsistent with certain info
- Psychological distinctiveness people desire their in-group to be unique and distinctive from
others, see in-groups as unique distinctive individuals
- In the absence of distinctive , there is no basis for group based positive self regard
- Realistic conflict theory the theory that limited resources lead to conflict between groups
which can result in increased prejudice and discrimination
- By forming these social groups allows to use our resources more efficiently but also increases
competition when there are limited amounts of resources
- Study (1961) method 1. 11 year old boys at camp in Robber’s cave national park 2.split into 2
groups Eagles vs. Rattles 3. In the 1st stage the boys did only activities with their own group
(either among the eagles or rattles to increase in-group identity) 4. In stage 2 both groups
interact and engage in completive sports with prizes for winning teams (scarce resource only
the group that wins gets the prize)
- Results will there be prejudice? Groups would call opposite groups sneaky, define members of
their own groups as nice, friendly, brave etc and lastly stole from each other’s cabins
- Same experiment stage 3: reduce intergroup conflict
Contact hypothesis (prejudice exists cause we don’t know other group members so
therefore to reduce prejudice its necessary to get know others in this experiment-
Arranged lunchtime seating assignments to that boys from each time were
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