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Michael Inzlicht

PSYC12 WINTER 2013 CHAPTER 6: EXPERIENCING PREJUDICE SOCIAL STIGMA  Erving Goffman, 1963 referred to the unusual characteristics that engender negative evaluations as being indicators of stigma  The stigmatized person is one who is reduced in our minds from a whole and usual person to a tainted, discounted one  Stigma are characteristics that mark the individual as deviant flawed limited spoiled or generally undesirable  Goffman identified three types of stigma o Abominations of the body – overweight, physical deformities o Blemishes of individual character – drunkenness o Tribal stigmas of race, nation and religion GROUP IDENTIFICATION  Research shows people faced with external threats show stronger in group identification (Seen with Jews, Blacks and Women) o Impacted by whether the individual has already strongly personally identified with their stigmatized group – influences degree to which they themselves with their group  High identifiers are much more likely to associate themselves with their group even when they have a negative image  They are much more likely to seek collective strategies against group threat. They tend to make it clear that they are fully committed, loyal group members, who are in it for the long run.  Low identifiers are much more likely to dissociate themselves from the group especially when it has a negative image – ready to let group fall apart when the group is threatened or has a negative image; more individualistic and opportunistic STEREOTYPE THREAT  Stereotype Threat: Individuals in stereotyped groups will engage in performance- limiting behavior in order to provide them with a ready excuse for their expected poor performance on the stereotype relevant dimension  For many stereotypes, the negative implications of confirming the stereotype are important enough that they can impair one’s ability to behave in counter stereotypic way  In other words, the anxiety one feels in thinking about possible confirming the stereotype can be so debilitating that it actually impairs one’s performance on the stereotype-relevant dimension thereby having the paradoxical effect of confirming the stereotype.  The effect of stereotype threat are especially likely to occur in people who strongly identify with the group about which the stereotype exists AND in individuals who are SELF CONSCIOUS of their stigmatized status  Stereotype threat leads to higher blood pressure and higher incidence of coronary heart disease in Blacks PSYC12 WINTER 2013  There are barriers to scholastic achievement for African Americans that are not purely socioeconomic in basis, cultural biases in standardized intelligence tests and discrimination and prejudice that they face from others  Stereotype threat may account for the gap in subsequent achievement between similar scoring African Americans and Caucasians o Diagnostic condition where the test is said to be indicative of intelligence – African Americans did worse than their Caucasian counterparts o Non-diagnostic condition – same test just different preamble or speech prior to testing – African Americans performed just as well as Whites in test o Just making the stereotype salient impaired the performance of African Americans on the task, even in non-diagnostic conditions  Stereotype Lift: Non-stigmatized persons seem to experience a performance ENHANCEMENT when they engage in a downward comparison between themselves and a member of a stereotyped out group  Research by Aronson and Inzlicht found that those who were higher in STEREOTYPE VULNERABILITY (the tendency to expect, perceive and be influenced by stereotypes about one’s social category) tended to be the least in touch with the quality of their performances on a stereotype relevant task. They were not able to accurately predict what they knew relative to the demands of the test. As a result of this inaccuracy, their academic (stereotype domain related) self-confidence was subject to stronger fluctuations.  Results of Quinn and Spencer study showed that when women believed that the math exam was DIAGNOSTIC, they performed poorly compared with their male counter parts. When women believed it was NOT DIAGNOSITC, they performed JUST AS WELL as the other male participants. o Females being bad at math stereotype is made salient just by being the only woman compared to two men in testing condition - women did worse in this condition compared to when women were in a group with only women doing the math test  When individuals of LOW SES believe that they might confirm a stereotype of them (specifically that they perform poorly on measures of intellectual ability relative to those who are not poor), their performance suffers on perceived diagnostic measures, relative to those who are not poor  When the exam is seen as being non diagnostic, they do just as well as their more affluent peers  Stereotype threat also occurs when Whites take the IAT, anxiety about receiving a scoring indicating they might be racist impacts them and they get more worse test results  However, the ability to be resistant to a stereotype against one’s group becomes much more difficult to the degree identity is closely tied to membership in that group  Anti-Asian prejudice is primarily driven by low sociability rather than perceived high intellectual competence  Fiske’s central tenet says that many stereotypes and prejudices can be located along two dimensions COMPETENCE AND WARMTH  Stereotype threatened individuals are motivated to do well on the tasks, they tend to be inefficient in their work, largely because their attention is split between their PSYC12 WINTER 2013 alternating assessment of the correct answers to the task and their worry that their performance may confirm a stereotype of their group  When stereotype threat is not present, participants’ performance matched that of their non stigmatized counterparts however this only shows the debilitating effects of stereotype threat and in no way should be interpreted as suggesting that eliminating stereotype threat therefore eliminates group difference on stereotype- relevant task performance  Why do those who are stereotype do worse than those who are non stigmatized o Due to disidentification: individuals disengage their identity form the achievement domain in question, such that their self esteem and sense of self competence is persevered and shielded from the negative effects of associating identity with performance on a stereotype relevant dimension o Disidentification (such as women disengaging from math/science and Blacks from academics) allows the stigmatized to retain their self esteem  African Americans have self esteem as high or higher than European Americans  Although stigmatized people are more likely than the nonstigmatized to show disidentification, they are less likely to see the stereotype-threat dimension as unimportant, thus although disidentitfied stigmatized individuals agree that the stereotype-threat dimension is important, it is not important for them and for their self-identity  What triggers disidentification? By either devaluing the importance of the stereotype threat domain or discounting the validity and self-diagnosticity of outcomes on the stereotype-threat dimension, the stigmatized can psychologically disengage from the stereotyped threat dimension and protect their self esteem o African Americans may discount academic achievement and may derogate others who pursuing by calling them out on it and saying they are trying to be White o Academically achieving Blacks were more likely to experience feelings of depression and anxiety compared with their peers who were not academically successful because they adopt behaviors and attitudes that distanced themselves from their culture of origin, and this results in depression, anxiety and identity confusion but not on racial identity  Study by Steele showed that women who were under a stronger stereotype threat (genetic limitation females have in mathematics) tended to disidentify more with math careers than women under weak stereotype threat (discrimination, social roles, socialization)  According to Tajfel and Turner’s social – identity theory (SIT), we derive our identity and self esteem one of two ways – Accomplishments & Group Memberships  SIT suggests that when one belongs to a devalued or threatened group, continued identification with the group threatens one’s self esteem. Threatened individuals may therefore disidentify with their in group pin order to protect their self esteem  Lee and Ottai examined how Chinese participants responded to negative stereotypic threats that are inconsistent or consistent with one’s in group perceptions and they found that negative stereotypes that are INCONSISTENT with the in-group stereotype lead in-group members to INCREASE their perceptions of in-group HOMOGENETIY OR UNITY o However, when they were exposed to a negative stereotype-consistent threat, the participant had a more DIFFICULT time denying the validity of PSYC12 WINTER 2013 the stereotype expression therefore emphasizing in group HETEROGENEITY and less group identification  Continued exposure to stereotype threat may lead stigmatized individuals to chronically disengage psychologically from the stereotype threat dimension  Disidentification can be both beneficial and detrimental o Beneficial: Disidentification can be a healthy effective coping response that allows the individual to protect their self concept and self identity against the prejudice, discrimination, and disadvantage the stigmatized person may encounter in the stereotype threat domain o Detrimental: Disidentification can save the self esteem, it endangers an individual’s chances for success and achievement in domains that society may regard as important  Strategies to enhance the individual’s identification with the stereotyped-threatened domain: Aronsons’ Jigsaw classroom, optimistic student-teacher relationships, challenge instead of remediation, stressing that intelligence is expandable, affirming domain belonging, calling multiple perspectives, having visible successful role models, and building self efficacy SELF ESTEEM  Studies have failed to show decreased self esteem for stigmatized groups such as African Americans, physically challenged, developmentally disabled, or mentally disabled and have instead these groups have been shown to have as high or higher self esteem as non-stigmatized groups  Some stigmatized people do feel a sense of self esteem drop and this influenced by the degree of CONTROLLABILITY or JUSTIFICATION of the stigma o For instance, those individuals who believe that their stigmatizing condition is controllable (and indicates some personal flaw) may be more likely to feel that negative evaluations of them are justified and more likely to feel lower self esteem (obesity) o However, believing that one’s stigma is UNCONTROLLABLE will lead the stigmatized person to RESIST the blame for the stigma, to attribute negative evaluations to prejudice and to maintain self-esteem.  African Americans have higher self esteem than Caucasians in general (Meta Analysis) o Reference group for African Americans is other African Americans and not society  Crocker and Quinn show that is more accurate to conceptualize self esteem as a kind of working model that is multiply determined and constructed by the situational, motivational and interpersonal factors in a given situation, and by one’s salient beliefs and values at that time. Denial of Discrimination  Researchers have found that stigmatized persons are often able to deny that they have been personally discriminated against, or that they have suffered prejudice, discrimination, or other mistreatment related to their stigma (Found in Women, Blacks and other minority groups) PSYC12 WINTER 2013  Stigmatized people acknowledge that their group suffers discrimination and prejudice in society but claims that they have not personally had such negative experiences o Cognitive distortion like this allows the person to avoid the uncomfortable reality that the world may not be a just or fair world  Denial of discrimination might be an adaptive way to deal with the unfair treatment one often receives as a result of being a member of a stigmatized group  Major and colleagues make the case that the degree to which the stigmatized person believes in the ideology that legitimizes existing status differences between groups will influence their perceptions of personal communication o More an individual DOES NOT endorse the ideology, less likely the negative behavior/evaluation from the nonstigmatized person will be interpreted as instance of discrimination or prejudice o Another factor that can influence whether a stigmatized group member attributes behavior oaf nonstigmatized individual to prejudice or discrimination is the SOCIAL costs involved with doing so  Kaiser and Miller found that the stigmatized individuals who make such attributions to discrimination are perceived as complainers and were generally less favorably evaluated by others Self-Fulfilling Prophecy  Attributing negative feedback from a nonstigmatized individual to prejudice is a useful technique for protecting self esteem but it doesn’t always work  Self-fulfilling prophecy refers to the phenomenon by which a perceiver’s expectations about a target eventually lead that target to behave in ways that confirm those expectations  Some stigmatized groups have internalized the some of the stereotypic negative views of their group that the majority members and society indirectly and directly communicate to them.  Major et al suggest four ways the stigmatized can maintain their self esteem o Attributing the negative evaluations and reactions of others to prejudice o Devaluing outcomes on which their group compares poorly with other groups o Comparing one’s stigmatized in group with other stigmatized groups, rather than to nonstigmatized groups o Psychological disengaging their self esteem from feedback in domains in which their group is at a disadvantage  Self esteem in stigmatized individuals seems to be fairly resilient against the negative influence of others’ prejudice and stereotyping INTERGROUP INTERACTIONS  Langer, Fiske, Tayor & Chanowitze found that people experience discomfort and a desire to avoid interactions with physically different persons because they are conflicted over whether to stare at the individual Dynamic Nature of Interactions  Typical intergroup interaction is characterized by
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