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Sisi Tran (66)
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49 Pages
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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC14H3
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Sisi Tran

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CHAPTER 1: Introduction to the Study of Stereotyping and Prejudice o Groups are not unique to humans. Some researchers theorize that the tendency to form groups is such a basic part of the nature of animals, including humans, and has conveyed survival benefits so successful that it has (e.g. fighting off predators, raising offspring successfully) withstood time and evolution. o There are some disadvantages and complications that groups bring: Mate competition Mate retention. They tend to form closer ties to members of their own group, and they tend to be suspicious and rejecting of members of other groups. Groups tend to favor their own groups (called in-groups) over other groups to which they do not belong (out groups) Randomly assigning people to group A or group B is an example of minimal group; people tend to show preference for members of their own group over those of other groups. o They form the basis for negative feelings about other groups (prejudice) and for believing that certain characteristics are associated with other groups (forming stereotypes) often because out-group members are perceived to be antithetical to the in-groups welfare or values. o Evolutionary psychology suggests, in-group preferences and hostility toward out groups are adaptive, and therefore innate, there is little we can do to avoid prejudice and stereotyping. o Why is the study of prejudice and stereotyping important? A need to understand the negative influence such thinking has on the thoughts, feelings, and behaviour of people in their daily lives, and how they relate to the targets of their prejudice, it is important to understand that such negative attitudes form the basis for subsequent negative intergroup behaviour. [Wars] o Some believe that there is a huge decline in prejudice and stereotyping in the US, but its just that overt expressions of racial prejudice and intergroup hatred have declined dramatically, racial prejudice and stereotypes have by no means disappeared. DEFINING STEREOTYPING O LIPPMANNS STEREOTYPE Originally derives from a term to describe a printing process in which fixed casts of material are reproduced. Lippmann used the word to describe the tendency of people to think of someone or something in similar terms that is, as having similar attributes based on a common feature shared by each. He said that we all have pictures in our heads (p.3) of the world outside and that their representations are more likely templates into which we try to simplify the sometimes-confusing information we receive from the world. We pick out what our culture has already defined for us, and we tend to perceive that which we have picked up in the form stereotyped for us by our culture. i. Basically meaning stereotypes tell us what social information is important to perceive and to disregard in our environment. ii. This confirms preexisting stereotypes by paying attention to stereotype consistent information and disregarding information that is inconsistent with our stereotypes. iii. The content of stereotypes is largely determined by the culture in which one lives. o After Lippmann, researchers generally began to regard stereotyping as a very negative, lazy way of perceiving social groups. Stereotyping was seen as an outward indicator of irrational, no analytic cognition. An example of rigid thinking. o Allport: a stereotype is an exaggerated belief associated with a category. O THE SOCIAL COGNITIVE DEFINITION In the early 1970s, with the birth of social cognition, researchers came to regard stereotyping as a rather automatic process of categorization that many cognitive and social psychologists believe is inherent in the very nature of the way humans thinking about the world A stereotype is any generalization about a group whether an observer (either a member of the stereotyped group or another observer) believes it is justified or not. Hamilton and Troliers definition of a stereotype as a cognitive structure that contains the perceivers knowledge, believes, and expectations about a human group (TOO BROAD: knowledge, believes, and expectations about a human group, and inconsistent with the traditional definitions of a stereotype) i. Sounds more like the definition of a schema than of a stereotype. Schemas are therefore broader cognitive structures that contain our knowledge of a stimulus, our expectations for the motives or behaviour of the stimulus (if a living being) and our feelings toward the stimulus. Example page 5. Stereotype: a set of beliefs about the personal attributes of a group of people Ashmore and Del Boca. O CULTURAL AND INDIVIDUAL STEREOTYPES: It is important to differentiate between cultural and individual stereotypes. i. Cultural: shared or community wide patterns of beliefs. ii.Individual: describes the beliefs held by an individual about the characteristic of a group. This is important, because ones cultural stereotype about a group may not be the same as ones individual stereotype about the group. Which of these two tends to predict future behaviour and attitudes toward a given group? i. Early thinking cultural. ii. Now individual because these are most directly related to that persons specific thoughts, feelings, and behaviour toward the group. O IS A STEREOTYPE AN ATTITUDE? Some say yes. An attitude is a general evaluation of some object. Attitudes comprise of three components: a behavioral component, an affective component, and a cognitive component. THUS, stereotypes as intergroup attitudes, partitioned into these three components. MOST believe that stereotyping represent only the cognitive portion of any intergroup attitude. Prejudice represent the affective component Discrimination represents the behaviour component. Discrimination: any negative behaviour directed toward an individual based on their membership in a group. O POSITIVE VERSUS NEGATIVE STEREOTPYES Researchers do not regard stereotypes as bad or good; they are merely generalizations about a group. Positive stereotypes are simply beliefs that attribute desirable or positive characteristics to a group. Such as Asians being good at math. DEFINING PREJUDICE: Gardner: it can be taken literally to indicate a prejudgment about something. A prejudice can suggest an evaluation, either positive or negative, toward a stimulus. OR a prejudice can suggest that the individual has a negative evaluation of another stimulus. * Essentially, an evaluation is an attitude. Prejudice is seen as a strong negative feeling about someone based on a generalization one has about that persons group. o PREJUDICE AS AN ATTITUDE Prejudice is an attitude --- so affective, behavioral and cognitive components. Prejudice can be based on affective (anger), cognitive (beliefs linking hostility to the out-group) or behavioral (avoidant or hostile) sources and can result in cognitive, behavioral or affective expression of prejudice. Stangor, Sullivan and Ford found that the best predictor of negative out-group prejudice is not negative feelings about the out-group but rather a lack of positive emotions. Some have suggested that stronger, more obvious forms of prejudice are more likely to be based on strong negative emotions, whereas more subtle types of prejudice may be based on an absence of positive feelings about the out-group.
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