Psychology of Prejudice
21 March 2013
Yeung & von Hippel, 2008
- Women, 60 % of the time when women are reminded of stereotypes they hit pedestrians
What about other stereotypes?
- There are stereotypes that gay men and pedophiles, among people they say that you should
not trust gay men with children.
- A study was done on this, they used college men who self identify themselves as being gay and
have them interact with young children, Somehow the stereotype was prime with them, they
looked at the non verbal that existed between the children. When these men were primed with
stereotype they acted more reserved, they weren’t very warm with the children.
What about other Stereotypes
- There is a relationship between SES and school performance, there is a research group in France
that call students in the lab and ask them to do an intelligence test and before that, they asked
them their parents educational level and their parents income. What they find is that the
reminder of your poverty can affect your performance on an IQ test.
What about other stereotypes?
- There is a finding that females underperform on the negotiating table
- Not many CEOs of large corporation are women
- One of them we wonder if it could be because of stereotype threats
- We though that its because women aren’t very good negotiaters.
- We find that women are more shy when it comes to that.
- They asked if one of the reasons women under perform is because of stereotypes
- Again it is when stereotypes are activated that these women underperform .
- Majority group people aren’t really doing anything, they aren’t telling them that they suck and
they cant do it. But this is happening in their head and they are worried about their
How do Stereotypes Threaten?
- Why does this work and how does this work? - Proximal Mechanism: ST temporarily impairs working memory. Working memory is a central
executive that allows one to pay attention and maintain things in thins stored space. You are
actively doing something to maintain this. The point is it is a way of controlling your attention.
This is the thing that is most affected by stereotype threat
Schmader & Johns, 2003
- Hypothesis: ST lowers test performance because it reduces working memory capacity
- Working Memory- able to stay focussed and inhibit unwanted thoughts
- How did they test this?
- Working Memory Task: dual processing task
- - Shown a list of words, asked to recall words later, in order. Keep increasing the list of words.
- Female took a math test
- Stereotype activated threat
- Then asked to remember word list
- When women were threatened the worst they did on math test performance and they show
deficit in remembering the words.
- The reason why stereotypes diminish math performance is because it limits working memory is
because there is an activation of stereotype and its reached capacity.
How do Stereotypes Threaten- it is not enough to say that it is the memories fault
- Acute stress response
- - Conforming negative stereotype is unnerving
- - Vigilance to cues in the environment, internal states, an performance
- - Pushing away negative thoughts and feelings. It requires mental effort, self control to get these
things out of your mind
- - People are less able to focus when their mental capacity is involved
Integrated Process Model of Stereotype Threat
- Once there is stereotype threat you want to suppress it and get it out of your mind, but this
takes up working memory resources.
- Example of a Female CEO
- - she doesn’t have to look far for stereotypes, she can open an article and there is an article
about male CEO’s
- It creates a stereotype threat, and she starts monitoring the process she tries to suppress the
thoughts, and tries to push it away which takes up working capacity of her memory. Stereotype threat is exhausting
- People are engaging in lots of mental and physiological activities and it is draining
- It leaves the threatened at a