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PSYB10 - Lec 9 (near verbatim) - Inter-group Relations.doc

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Elizabeth Page- Gould

PSYB10: Lec 9 Inter-group Relations: Intergroup relations: how you identify with your in-group and how you perceive out-groups In-group: a social group to which you belong (any group, your gender, ethnicity can be very changeable or not changeable); what makes an in-group and out-group what it is is how we PERCEIVE THEM and how we interact w/ them; your in- group in some ways is a state of mind (subjective); its the subjective perception that makes a big difference Out-group: any social group to which you dont belong How we perceive members of other groups (primarily) b/c we dont identify with members of that group and we do identify w/ our in-group Intergroup processes: any situation, cognition, belief, feelings, behavior that arise when ppl from different groups interact with or think about each other Most inter-group researchers focus on stereotyping, prejudice; some meta-theories of inter-group relations: biggest one is social identity theory Social identity theory: idea of why do we even form these groups in our minds? Why do these groups affect what we do? o A group is only your group to the extent that you identify with it (associate it with yourself); a part of who I am is a social group, then thats your in- group and therefore Im identifying with that group o A diffuse but inter-related set of social psychological theories about when and why individuals identify with and behave as if they are part of a social group (meta-theory) o Assumptions: we all have the need for positive self-regard (we want to feel good about ourselves); self-verification theory has some things that are odd for ex) depressed ppl dont want to feel good about themselves; when you take a non-clincial population, everybody wants to feel good about themselves so how do we do that? social identity theory says that we have a personal identity that gives us a sense of positive self regard (ex: own achievements, your own actions); we also achieve this good positive self-regard thru the groups that we belong to; by identifying with an in-group and thinking that your group is the best, and youre a key member of that group then you are good too; basically, identifying with an in-group gives us a shortcut to feeling good about ourselves o Components of Social Identity Theory (how we deal with our social/group identities and how those identities make us feel good about ourselves): Categorization In the absence of categorization there is no social group identity; we naturally organize ppl into social categories; into in-groups and out-groups By doing this categorization, this creates the in-group, out- group distinction and thus all the subsequent outcomes of that Why categorize ppl? Allport thought we categorize ppl into social groups because of laziness; we dont think about ppl of other groups that much and so we just put them in a certain group, dont have to think about them New way of thinking: group categorization is NOT purely the result of laziness as thought by Allport; cognitive miser idea similar to laziness but cognitive miser = shortcut = heuristic = more error prone than algorithms but they get us to answer faster; by categorizing ppl, dont have to go into depth to learn about each person Cognitive miser: we have limited amount of cognitive resources that we can spend on any given problem; we have shortcuts and schemas that we use so we dont have to think about all the other stuff and focus our cognitive effort on the important task at hand Tend to categorize ppl based on shared features; representativeness heuristic; can create minimal groups Minimal groups: ingroups and outgroups formed on trivial, highly context-specific features; it doesnt really exist, not really important in terms of that persons social identity and yet in the moment, it will all of a sudden act that way Minimal group paradigm: classic set of tools used to do research on Social Identity theory in this case; create in- groups or out-groups from a minimal set of conditions/shared features (ex: how you can get ppl to act prejudiced told ppl that ppl who wear sandals on the first day of class are really different than ppl who wear sneakers; what grade do you think ppl who wore sneakers or sandals will get? ; as soon as youve made arbitrary distinction, you get prejudiced) Another paradigm: blue vs. yellow shirts in the lab; blue shirts think that yellow shirts dont deserve as much payment for their participation, theyre not as kind; vice versa; none of it matters, just based on what color shirt youre wearing we very quickly categorize ppl Study: minimal groups paradigm; ppl come in groups, estimate # of dots on page; random assignment of participants to groups: overestimators or underestimators; asked the participants to rate the groups and allocate study payment to each group; overestimators thought that underestimators = less likeable, kind, effective thanoverestimators and vice versa; less money given to members of the other group; shows that group categorization can occur in an instant and based on trivial features that dont matter at all Impact of categorizing ppl into groups is PROFOUND on how we perceive those ppl and how much resources they get Identification When you associate a group with yourself; the more you associate a group with your self-concept, the more you identify with that group Social identity theory identification bolsters your self- esteem esp b/c we automatically think that our group is more likeable, more kind than the outgroup, then identifying with your ingroup makes you feel more kind, effective etc; All of the effects here is dependent on how much you identify with your group; if you dont identify as much, you dont show the same sort of bias in perception of out-group members Comparison An in-group is only an in-group if theres an out-group; there has to be another group against which you can compare your in-group for you to get self-esteem from your in-group Always comparing in-group and out-group and tend 2 see favourable bias towards group to which we belong
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