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Lecture 4

PSYC12 week 4 - Greenwald, McGhee, Schwartz 1998 reading

8 Pages

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Michael Inzlicht

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Reading – The Self-Regulation of Intergroup Perception: Mechanisms and Consequences of Stereotype Suppression 1) People make behavioural choices on the basis of their subjective interpretations of the people and situations they encounter 2) Our interpretations of objective stimuli DOES NOT EQUAL the actual property of the stimuli a) A source of this divergence between objectivity and subjectivity is the operation of inferential process that use detectable characteristics of social stimuli to derive assumed characteristics that are not readily apparent in the initial perceptual experience i) E.g., stereotype 3) This paper explore the prospects for successfully avoiding stereotypic thinking 4) The Well-Intentioned cognitive Miser: Mental Dilemmas of Multicultural Societies a) For many people living in modern societies, the notion of relying on stereotypes to judge others has developed unpleasant connotations b) A couple of reasons why stereotyping might appear appealing i) Individuals can construct a superior image of their own social group ii) Feel better about themselves iii) Stereotypes can be used to explain and justify the existence of unequal resource distributions between groups iv) To conserve mental resources while still producing structured social impressions v) Satisfying to perceivers because it confers a greater sense of predictability and orderliness c) Cognitive miser – a metaphor that captures the human tendency to ‘satisfice’ (satisfying the minimum requirement) rather than optimize by engaging only in the amount of thought necessary to produce an apparently adequate understanding of others d) Several criteria for determining whether a metal process can be characterized as “automatic” i) Occur without the perceiver’s conscious intent or awareness of them ii) Without the perceiver’s ability to control them iii) With an efficiency that requires little investment of the perceiver’s limited cognitive resources e) Most of the time, stereotypes had unintended effects that perceivers were seemingly unable to prevent f) The automatic effects are NOT limited to racial stereotypes g) Stereotype activation can occur without awareness h) People most readily categorize others in terms of their race are also the most likely to draw stereotypic inferences about them i) The nature of stereotyping is reinforced by the systematic information-processing biases that contribute to the creation of an illusory mental database supporting stereotypic beliefs i) Once stereotypic expectations are formed, they tend to bias subsequent information processing in a confirmatory manner ii) Stereotype-confirming information tends to be better remembered, whereas inconsistent information is often neglected iii) Stereotypic fantasies tend to be misremembered as facts iv) Perceivers may react to stereotyped targets in ways that elicit stereotype-confirming behaviour j) It is clear that many people have developed explicit egalitarian values that they want to embody in their thoughts and actions, yet they have been socialized to hold stereotypic views and prejudiced feelings toward many minority groups; ambivalence of race relations today k) People that hold egalitarian values tend to become self-focused and direct effort at reducing the discrepancy between their thoughts, feelings, or behaviours and their egalitarian, non- prejudiced standards l) Thus, for most people, there is a fundamental mental dilemma associated with intergroup perception 5) Governing The Society of mind: Self-Regulation of Mental Processes a) Cognitive self-regulation may involve a considerable degree of self-deception b) Some people may suppress stereotype is by simply making direct adjustments to one’s judgments and conclusions in the direction opposite to the presumed bias c) A more ambitious perceiver might actively attempt to prevent the stereotypic biases from ever entering into their deliberations, i.e., suppress their stereotypes d) A common way for the operating process to achieve its goal is by seeking distracters from the environment e) In the case of mental control, there must be a process to monitor mental contents and a process to operate on mental contents when an undesired thought is detected by the monitoring process i) Whereas the monitoring process is largely automatic and unconscious, the operating process is considered to be effortful and conscious ii) The operating process is resource-dependent, and can only work effectively when the perceiver has sufficient attentional resources to dev
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