Lecture 10: Reducing Prejudice and Its Effects
Pessimism in Prejudice Research
This class has focused almost exclusively on the dark side of psychology
• Stereotypes are functional & adaptive
o We will keep using them because they make our lives easier
• Our world conspires to make us more prejudiced
o Media, our parents, friends…
• Stereotypes are automatic, implicit; inevitable?
• Prejudice have long term effects on targets
What about the bright side? What can we do to improve situation?
• Won’t be able to completely change world. But we can make small little changes
that will add up eventually
• About 10 years ago, more ‘positive psychology’
(More of a North American Approach)
Context and Associations
Showing images where there is diversity in an area (profession etc) actually makes
those in minorities feel better.
Implicit stereotypes change depending on context
• Wittenbrink et al., 2001
o Movie and IAT
o Priming in context
o When shown a clip about stereotypical image, their reactions were
o When shown a clip that was happy and non-stereotypical, their
stereotypical reactions diminished
o The context that we see others in affects how we later view them
Implicit stereotypes change after training • Kawakami & Phills (2007) Joystick study
o Approach group: pull joystick toward themselves when they saw a black
o Avoid group: push joystick away when they saw a black person
o Those who were trained in the avoid group had more stereotypical IAT
Counter Stereotypic Role Models
Can exposure to counter-stereotypic people reduces implicit prejudice?
• How do positive role models affect prejudice?
Women’s colleges present natural experiment into how women’s beliefs are shaped by
exposure to women in counter-stereotypic leadership positions
• Compare women in co-ed vs. all women’s colleges
Dasgupta and Asari (2004)
• Women in women’s colleges will have less stereotyped views of women than
women in co-ed colleges
• This difference is due to exposure to counter-stereotypical women, not to pre-
• Women in women’s vs. co-ed colleges
• Women in math vs non-math classes
o IAT Male + Leader/Female + Supporter vs. Female + Leader/ Male +
Supporter Exposure to counter-stereotypical role models can reduce stereotypical associations
• This is especially the case in stereotyped domains (e.g. women in math/science)
• Is this due to role models?
• …or peers?
Group Based Approaches
Positive contact between group members isn’t enough (i.e. subtyping), need sustained
How does change come about?
• Generalization fro