Lecture 1 - Introduction

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2 Mar 2011
PSYC12 - Psychology of Prejudice
Lesson 1 - Introduction
oWhen is something prejudice?
Content: What was said, how it was said, and is it a legitimate
Intention: Was it meant to harm or is the comment meant as a joke?
Conviction: Does the person truly believe what he/she said?
Context: Would a white comedian say the same material that black
comedians joke about? And would it be okay if that were to happen or
would someone automatically think the white comedian to be a racist?
Class Brainstor m of Definitions
oStereotype: categor ies, behaviours/characteristics, short cuts for thinking, a
cognitive process based on similarity between groups, learned from parents and
culture, a generalized expectation which may OR may not be true.
oPrejudice: Positive/negative attitudes, a biased attitude based on stereotypes, may
be implicit or explicit (also for stereotypes), making emotional associations.
oDiscrimination: Actions/behaviours based on prejudice and stereotypes, based on
group membership, and can be both positive and negative.
oLinked with the ABCs of psychology: Affect --> Prejudice, Behaviour -->
Discrimination, and Cognition --> Stereotypes.
Defining Terms
oStereotype: A set of attributes and traits associated with a group of people (social
categor y).
oPrejudice: Biased evaluation of a group based on the traits associated with that
oDiscrimination: Negative behaviour towards someone based on their group
Some histor y of the psychology of prejudice
oStereotypes as abnormal vs. Stereotypes as a normal psychological process: It
used to be thought of as an abnormality to stereotype, but we now know that it is a
natural way for us to learn and categorize objects in our everyday world. It helps
us recognize objects by their characteristics and behaviours so we know how to
interact with them. Problems arise when we apply ALL characteristics to ALL
objects in a particular category. S ome characteristics may not apply to all
objects/people in a given category. Eg: Women are shor ter and not as physically
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