PSYC12H3 Lecture Notes - Stereotype Threat, Erving Goffman, Ingroups And Outgroups

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Published on 14 Apr 2013
School
UTSC
Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC12H3
PSYC12 WINTER 2013
CHAPTER 6: EXPERIENCING PREJUDICE
SOCIAL STIGMA
Erving Goffman, 1963 referred to the unusual characteristics that engender negative
evaluations as being indicators of stigma
The stigmatized person is one who is reduced in our minds from a whole and usual
person to a tainted, discounted one
Stigma are characteristics that mark the individual as deviant flawed limited spoiled
or generally undesirable
Goffman identified three types of stigma
o Abominations of the body overweight, physical deformities
o Blemishes of individual character drunkenness
o Tribal stigmas of race, nation and religion
GROUP IDENTIFICATION
Research shows people faced with external threats show stronger in group
identification (Seen with Jews, Blacks and Women)
o Impacted by whether the individual has already strongly personally
identified with their stigmatized group influences degree to which they
themselves with their group
High identifiers are much more likely to associate themselves with their group even
when they have a negative image
They are much more likely to seek collective strategies against group threat. They
tend to make it clear that they are fully committed, loyal group members, who are in
it for the long run.
Low identifiers are much more likely to dissociate themselves from the group
especially when it has a negative image ready to let group fall apart when the
group is threatened or has a negative image; more individualistic and opportunistic
STEREOTYPE THREAT
Stereotype Threat: Individuals in stereotyped groups will engage in performance-
limiting behavior in order to provide them with a ready excuse for their expected
poor performance on the stereotype relevant dimension
For many stereotypes, the negative implications of confirming the stereotype are
important enough that they can impair one’s ability to behave in counter stereotypic
way
In other words, the anxiety one feels in thinking about possible confirming the
stereotype can be so debilitating that it actually impairs one’s performance on the
stereotype-relevant dimension thereby having the paradoxical effect of confirming
the stereotype.
The effect of stereotype threat are especially likely to occur in people who strongly
identify with the group about which the stereotype exists AND in individuals who
are SELF CONSCIOUS of their stigmatized status
Stereotype threat leads to higher blood pressure and higher incidence of coronary
heart disease in Blacks
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PSYC12 WINTER 2013
There are barriers to scholastic achievement for African Americans that are not
purely socioeconomic in basis, cultural biases in standardized intelligence tests and
discrimination and prejudice that they face from others
Stereotype threat may account for the gap in subsequent achievement between
similar scoring African Americans and Caucasians
o Diagnostic condition where the test is said to be indicative of intelligence
African Americans did worse than their Caucasian counterparts
o Non-diagnostic condition same test just different preamble or speech prior
to testing African Americans performed just as well as Whites in test
o Just making the stereotype salient impaired the performance of African
Americans on the task, even in non-diagnostic conditions
Stereotype Lift: Non-stigmatized persons seem to experience a performance
ENHANCEMENT when they engage in a downward comparison between themselves
and a member of a stereotyped out group
Research by Aronson and Inzlicht found that those who were higher in
STEREOTYPE VULNERABILITY (the tendency to expect, perceive and be influenced
by stereotypes about one’s social category) tended to be the least in touch with the
quality of their performances on a stereotype relevant task. They were not able to
accurately predict what they knew relative to the demands of the test. As a result of
this inaccuracy, their academic (stereotype domain related) self-confidence was
subject to stronger fluctuations.
Results of Quinn and Spencer study showed that when women believed that the
math exam was DIAGNOSTIC, they performed poorly compared with their male
counter parts. When women believed it was NOT DIAGNOSITC, they performed JUST
AS WELL as the other male participants.
o Females being bad at math stereotype is made salient just by being the only
woman compared to two men in testing condition - women did worse in
this condition compared to when women were in a group with only women
doing the math test
When individuals of LOW SES believe that they might confirm a stereotype of them
(specifically that they perform poorly on measures of intellectual ability relative to
those who are not poor), their performance suffers on perceived diagnostic
measures, relative to those who are not poor
When the exam is seen as being non diagnostic, they do just as well as their more
affluent peers
Stereotype threat also occurs when Whites take the IAT, anxiety about receiving a
scoring indicating they might be racist impacts them and they get more worse test
results
However, the ability to be resistant to a stereotype against one’s group becomes
much more difficult to the degree identity is closely tied to membership in that
group
Anti-Asian prejudice is primarily driven by low sociability rather than perceived
high intellectual competence
Fiske’s central tenet says that many stereotypes and prejudices can be located along
two dimensions COMPETENCE AND WARMTH
Stereotype threatened individuals are motivated to do well on the tasks, they tend
to be inefficient in their work, largely because their attention is split between their
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PSYC12 WINTER 2013
alternating assessment of the correct answers to the task and their worry that their
performance may confirm a stereotype of their group
When stereotype threat is not present, participants’ performance matched that of
their non stigmatized counterparts however this only shows the debilitating effects
of stereotype threat and in no way should be interpreted as suggesting that
eliminating stereotype threat therefore eliminates group difference on stereotype-
relevant task performance
Why do those who are stereotype do worse than those who are non stigmatized
o Due to disidentification: individuals disengage their identity form the
achievement domain in question, such that their self esteem and sense of
self competence is persevered and shielded from the negative effects of
associating identity with performance on a stereotype relevant dimension
o Disidentification (such as women disengaging from math/science and Blacks
from academics) allows the stigmatized to retain their self esteem
African Americans have self esteem as high or higher than European Americans
Although stigmatized people are more likely than the nonstigmatized to show
disidentification, they are less likely to see the stereotype-threat dimension as
unimportant, thus although disidentitfied stigmatized individuals agree that the
stereotype-threat dimension is important, it is not important for them and for their
self-identity
What triggers disidentification? By either devaluing the importance of the
stereotype threat domain or discounting the validity and self-diagnosticity of
outcomes on the stereotype-threat dimension, the stigmatized can psychologically
disengage from the stereotyped threat dimension and protect their self esteem
o African Americans may discount academic achievement and may derogate
others who pursuing by calling them out on it and saying they are trying to
be White
o Academically achieving Blacks were more likely to experience feelings of
depression and anxiety compared with their peers who were not
academically successful because they adopt behaviors and attitudes that
distanced themselves from their culture of origin, and this results in
depression, anxiety and identity confusion but not on racial identity
Study by Steele showed that women who were under a stronger stereotype threat
(genetic limitation females have in mathematics) tended to disidentify more with
math careers than women under weak stereotype threat (discrimination, social
roles, socialization)
According to Tajfel and Turner’s social – identity theory (SIT), we derive our
identity and self esteem one of two ways Accomplishments & Group Memberships
SIT suggests that when one belongs to a devalued or threatened group, continued
identification with the group threatens one’s self esteem. Threatened individuals
may therefore disidentify with their in group pin order to protect their self esteem
Lee and Ottai examined how Chinese participants responded to negative stereotypic
threats that are inconsistent or consistent with one’s in group perceptions and they
found that negative stereotypes that are INCONSISTENT with the in-group
stereotype lead in-group members to INCREASE their perceptions of in-group
HOMOGENETIY OR UNITY
o However, when they were exposed to a negative stereotype-consistent
threat, the participant had a more DIFFICULT time denying the validity of
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Document Summary

Erving goffman, 1963 referred to the unusual characteristics that engender negative evaluations as being indicators of stigma. The stigmatized person is one who is reduced in our minds from a whole and usual person to a tainted, discounted one. Stigma are characteristics that mark the individual as deviant flawed limited spoiled or generally undesirable. Goffman identified three types of stigma: abominations of the body overweight, physical deformities, blemishes of individual character drunkenness, tribal stigmas of race, nation and religion. Research shows people faced with external threats show stronger in group identification (seen with jews, blacks and women) Impacted by whether the individual has already strongly personally identified with their stigmatized group influences degree to which they themselves with their group. High identifiers are much more likely to associate themselves with their group even when they have a negative image. They are much more likely to seek collective strategies against group threat.

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