PSYC12 Lec 6
What’s it like to be a target?
- Study by Kenneth Clark and his wife
o There are group preferences for dolls in small children
o (black) girls said the black dolls were bad and said they were like the bad dolls
o People are more exposed to white dolls/characters so people think white is better
since they are so used to seeing this
Change of perspective
- Picture: someone named Matthew Sheppard
o Young, gay man living in Wyoming
o Oct 7. 1988
Was found strung up to a gate with shoelaces with his head bashed in
o Found out he was in a gay bar and was very shy. Two men went in, pretended to
be gay and befriended Matt. Pretended they were going to hook up with him and
ended up tying him up, leaving him to die.
o Was not considered a hate crime at the time
o “Laramie Project” – a play written about this incident
Let’s look at the target’s point of view
- Until now, would not have understood his POV
- All details we have spoken of until now were from the perspective of the PERCEIVER
o But have missed in some way Matthew Sheppard’s story
What’s it like to be a Jew in Nazi Germany? What does it feel like to be a
gay man in a homophobic society? Etc.
o How do they cope with it, deal with it?
- “the lion’s story will never be told as long as the hunter is telling the story”
o Will never know Matthew Sheppard’s POV if we speak to the criminals
- Stigma (Irvine Gothman – wrote a book called Stigma) described as:
o Possess a characteristic that is devalued by society
o Have a spoiled identity
Spoiled in that they are somehow degraded, less positive,, etc.
o Main hallmark: people discriminate those with these characteristics
- Types of Stigmas
o A) abominations of body
o B) blemishes of character
o C) tribal markers
Race, gender, ethnicity, etc.
Abominations of body - Things that make you look different – being obese, congenital deformities (ex. cleft
palate), excessive sweating and hyperhidrosis
o Something you have no control over but is still stigmatized
o Stuttering, cross-eyed, being short…
Blemishes of character
- Dementia, mental illness, anorexia, bulimia, any personality trait
o Personality traits: Fournier’s research shows extroverted people do better
Excessive shyness may be detrimental
- Any marker of race, gender, creed, religion, skin colour, clothing, age, etc.
- Things that set you off as being part of one tribe vs. another tribe
- What type of stigma is: being aged 73?
o Abominations of body
o Blemishes of character
o Tribal markers
o Age is not a stigma
- Answer: c
- Trick question – it could be also be an abomination of body and blemish of character
o Start to look a certain way as people get older and start to develop things in older
Males: the new targets?
- Can men also be victims because of their gender?
- Article: men claim discrimination at work
o Are complaining more now
o Reacting to affirmative action
People are chosen because of stigmatizing characteristics
May not be chosen for things because minority groups are
A model of stigma reactions
Major & O’Brien, 2005
- Know everything in this model!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- Sketching out psychology of belonging to a stigmatized group
- 3 things that moderate whether someone makes an identity threat appraisal
o Identity threat appraisal:
People say “I am being discriminated – being seen as a girl, Asian, etc. but
not as a person”
Treated differently because of identity
- 3 things that predict this: o Collective representations
Culture; where are you? North America, Africa, Asia, etc.
Depending on where you are, stereotypes will be different
E.g. being black in Toronto, Jamaica, Africa
Ideas floating around about group
o Situational cues
Things in environment
E.g. number of people – having more women or men around will say
something about the situation
Cues in the environment providing info
Cues communicating stigma relevance
o Personal characteristics
What is the person like that is making the stereotypes?
Are they high in self-esteem or low? Do they identify with their group?
Individual differences in perception and appraisal
- Identify threat appraisal
o Is stigma relevant? Am I threatened?
- Once you’ve made an identity threat appraisal
- 2 responses that can occur:
o Non-volitional stuff (involuntary)
Make a threat appraisal – feel anxiety, sweaty, disruption, vigilance etc.
There are things you can do to control these threat appraisals
E.g. telling self you can do something
Leaving situation, etc.
Can be based on threat response and coping response
o Volitional responses (voluntary)
Coping with threat, blaming discrimination, limit social comparisons,
o Can be self-esteem, physical health, performance, etc.
o Stigma can affect these things
How do Muslims cope at the airport?
- What happens if you are Muslim and visibly Muslim?
- E.g. Muslim man at airport – looked like a “Typical” Muslim. Was clearly uncomfortable
in that situation
- Collective representations: North America – there is a salience for terrorism
- Situational cues: was in an airport, where people are usually on edge about Muslim
o Given the history and stereotypes, how does this affect this?
- Personal characteristics: was wearing a turban, etc. – seemed to identify with his group
o Non-volitional Heart beats fast, starts thinking, worrying, etc.
Stood very still, looked down
A way to control emotions
So no one will suspect him of doing wrong
- In our culture, at this time, it is unhealthy for Muslims to visit the airport very often
o Very threatening experiences
- Key to this model: identity threat appraisal
o Lead to questions like: am I being judged due to my group?
o Am I making an appraisal of threat?
- Moderating factors:
Stigma’s Self-Protective Properties
- The Eye of the Storm movie
o Tells children that blue eyed children are better than brown-eyed children
Say brown-eyed people get less recess, cannot play with blue-eyed people.
Cannot drink from the same drinking fountain; have to wear a scarf around
neck. Blue-eyed people are allowed to go for seconds for food but brown-
Blue-eyed kids start saying they should inform the lunch people or the
brown-eyed people will eat all the food
Blue-eyed kids became nasty, vicious, discriminating in the first 15
Stigma’s Self-Protective Properties
Stigma & Self-Esteem
- Talk about these studies in a paradoxical finding
- In certain groups, stigma doesn’t always lead to what you expect it to lead to
o We may expect it to lead to low self-esteem because they were just discriminated
E.g. Blacks in the U.S.
Have poor interpersonal relations with other groups
Should lower self-esteem – way a person sees themselves mirrors
how others see them (reflected appraisals)
o Reflected appraisals – the way a person sees themselves mirrors how other people
o Self-fulfilling prophecies
Might confirm how people think of another group of people
E.g. assume blacks have less self-esteem
o Stigmatized have the SAME or HIGHER self-esteem than non-stigmatized
people. This is true for African-Americans; do not suffer low self-esteem
Crocker & Major, 1989 - Propose: stigma can buffer self-esteem
- Story of how prof became “stigmatized” for protection
o When doing post-doc, was told he would get his pick of many jobs because his
research was so good. Did not hear anything for a long time – no one wanted to
interview him. Was distraught, led to believe he would get a job and did not.
Advisor said, with affirmative action laws, many jobs go to other kinds of groups.
He may have not been being selected because he is white-ish. Started to think he
didn’t get job because he is not a minority/woman. Used this to protect himself –
did not get job because he was no good, was because he was not a minority
- 3 ways people protect their self-esteem:
o Attributional ambiguity
When someone receives an outcome, there are many reasons they received
this outcome. (e.g. with prof - he didn’t prepare enough, there aren’t
enough jobs in the field he’s doing, he wasn’t smart enough, etc.)
There is ambiguity – attributional ambiguity about things that happen to