Psychology of Prejudice
24th January 2013
Discrimination when buying a new car
- How would we study the existence of race gender discrimination in buying a car?
- Go to the same dealership, sell the same kind of model of car, control for age etc.
- Try to match people up as much as you can
- Twin Testers
- Age, Education, attractiveness, dress the same, scripts, same dealer, same car.
Ayres & Siegelman (1995)
- Despite white males having the most money they are offered the lowest price when buying a car
as compared to the black males (1000 difference)
- White females are also offered lower price when buying a car compared to black females (200
- Why would sales person:
- Ask more money from women? Stereotype that women don’t know that much about cars
- Ask more money from Blacks? They may believe that whites are more educated on cars.
Typically there are more white males in this field therefore they can give the white a better rate
that the blacks.
- When both the black and white men went to the store the black guy was ignored and not
welcomed or offered any assistance but the white guy was.
- Interestingly the black salesman ignored the black guy when he was going to buy a car, but the
white guy had instant attention.
- In another situation the black guy was followed around because he was black, and was watching
if he would steal.
- When the men were locked out of the car, the white guy was offered help, but the black guy
- Even when the men were walking, the cops and a guy passing by told the black guy that he was
in the wrong neighbourhood and looked at him strangely.
- When they went to the same car dealer ship, they both looked at the same car, but the white
guy was offered a 10-20 % down payment while the black was offered 20-25%, in addition the
black guy was told that it cost 500 dollars more.
- When they were both applying for the same job, the white guy was encourage, while the black
men was lectured and told that there are no positions available. - When they were both trying to get a place in the neighbourhood. The white guy was
encouraged to move in, given a description of the neighbourhood, while the black individual was
lectured and warned that its not the ghetto. In another situation, the man said that when the
black guy came in that there was no apartment available, and the woman rented the apartment.
- When both individuals tried to take the same cab the cab driver drove past the black guy and
straight to the white individual
Why does discrimination exist?
Why does stereotype exist?
- It is an important part of learning
- Hassidic Jews:
- Black hats, black suits, beards ringlet “sideburns” religious
- Why categorize? Environment is endless and we need a way of figuring it out, we don’t just
perceive tables we perceive edges and know what to do with a table
- Limited capacity cognitive system, we need to process things cause we cant store all the
information at once
- It is an essential part of learning. If we ever got rid of stereotypes we would get rid or learning.
- Occurs spontaneously, people spontaneously categorize people such as into men and women
categories. There isn’t much attention or effort in this, we just do.
Categorization and Stereotypes
- Stereotypes are traits associated with category
- Can be useful in making predictions. It allows you to make predictions about what some people
- These are based on a “kernel of truth”. For instance Jew tend to be very religious.
- They are fast and efficient
- But they are also over- generalizations especially when applied to an individual
- Categorize world into in-groups & out-groups
- In-groups: Groups to which we belong
- Out- groups: Groups to which we do not belong
- These categorization simplifies the social world. U