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PSYC12H3 Lecture Notes - Dave Chappelle, Lexical Decision Task, Jewish Quota

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Michael Inzlicht

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PSYC12 Lec 4
Midterm: Fri. Mar 1 gym 7-9. 70 mcq
- Covers lecs, Ch 1-5 and Bodenhausen and Greenwald readings
- White bears famous for classic psych studies
o Mental control
o When people actively try not to think about something, it’s difficult and you end
up thinking about it a lot more than if you don’t try to think about it
Stereotype Suppression
- Stereotypes are:
o efficient,
o fulfill motivations and
o automatic
- BUT there are problems with them:
o Negatively impact targets
o Society has deemed stereotyping to be unsavoury
- Solution: suppress stereotypes
Mental Control
- To understand mental control or suppression, need to understand:
o Control has a feedback loop
Goal operate monitor back to goal
- To establish control, one needs a goal
o E.g. don’t think about X
- Once you have a goal, you erase all thoughts of X from your mind
- Also, need a monitor - A system that detects when what you want is different from what
you have. Detects when you are thinking about X
o Once detected, feeds back to operating system to let it know there is something
in my mind that I want to be pushed away
Same concept as thermostat
- Operating process:
o Takes action to meet desired state (to prevent stereotypes)
o Resource-rich
o Controlled
- Monitoring process:
o compares current state with desired states (scans mind for stereotypes)
o Resource-free
o Automatic
- In terms of efficiency, costs, etc, the operating process takes lots of energy and resources.
Very resource intensive. If you operate and work really hard to control your mind, you
eventually get tired and have less energy to engage in this process
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- Monitoring process: resource free doesn’t take much energy to detect things
- Once operating process is fatigued, monitoring process takes over
- Suppressing stereotypes works in short-term, not long-term
Macrae, Bodenhausen, Milne, & Jetten, 1994
- Hypothesis: when you ask individuals to suppress stereotypes, it works in the short term
but after a while, after they have relaxed, the thing they suppress becomes hyper-
- Method: suppress stereotype of skinheads vs. non-suppress
o Given a picture of someone that looks like a skinhead and they are told to write a
“day in the life of” the person in the picture
o Separate task: Lexical decision task
Shown a bunch of letter strings and asked to say if the strings are words or
Idea: if they construct this prime, they will react more quickly to this word
E.g. you hear the word dentist see a letter string of the word teeth
much faster at detecting the word
Experimenters looked at reaction time of words related to stereotype of
Shorter RT = more activation of construct
o I-clicker: what does the LDT measure?
A. whether things are words or not
B. whether a construct (stereotype) is activated
C. whether people are slower to react to stereotype vs. non-stereotype
D. whether people are violent or not
E. whether skinheads are seen more stereotypically
Answer: B
- Results: those who suppressed stereotypes were faster to respond to stereotypical words
related to skinheads vs. the control group
o The stereotypes were hyper-accessible for the suppression group
- Can lead to rebound effects greater activation of thought than would be the task if
thought was not suppressed
- This affects thought and behaviour
- In another version of this task, suppress skinhead stereotypes then are told they can
interact with someone the story was written about (skinhead)
o Have the person go into a room with 7 chairs one end seat had a black jacket on
the seat
o Results: found people sat further away from the jacket when they were in the
suppression group
- Critique:
o Will this generalize to other groups?
o Will it predict real behaviour?
Modern Prejudice
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