PSYC12: Psychology of Prejudice
Lecture 2: Origins of Stereotypes
Movie True Colours
Origin of Stereotypes
o Socio-cultural & Motivational
Discrimination when buying a new car
How would we study the existence of race/gender discrimination in car buying?
o Send people into the field
o Experimentally controlled study
o Control their behaviour
o Dress them all the same (neutral dress code)
o Go to a few car dealership within the region
o Ask about the same car model
Answer: 4 TWIN TESTERS
o Same dealer
o Same car
Multiple exemplars from each category of people ( black and white male & black and white females) and
Ayres & Siegelman, (1995)
Initial Quote for a new car by Race and Gender
Initial Price ($)
Social role In this study we can see white males are offered less price on a car in comparison to the black males
As for females; white females are offered less pricing for a car than black females
o White male: $19 225
o Black male: $ 20 200
o White female: $19 335
o Black female: $ 19 600
Discrimination when buying a new car
Why would salespeople:
o Ask more money from women?
Stereotype that women are incapable of rational thinking
Women don't know much about cars
Women tend to be nicer and more agreeable
o Ask more money from Blacks?
Association with race and education
More white males working as car dealers
Ask more money from black
Movie Time! True Colours
Why does discrimination exist? Fear.
Why do stereotypes exist? Because of the behavior of the type of people and the environment.
Origins of Stereotypes: Cognitive
Hassidic Jews: black hats, black suits, beards, ringlet “sideburns”, religious
1. Infinite number of stimuli in environment
2. Limited capacity cognitive system
We can't process all the info in the social world, this is why we create groups
3. Essential part of learning
If we get rid of prejudice, we get rid of learning
4. Occurs spontaneously
Don't need to think about it actively
Our mind is set in a way that categorize things we perceive. If we don't categorize objects and not put
label we will end up seeing new things. Therefore once u learn something u keeps it in ur head and
categorize it in such a way to prevent yourself from being overwhelmed.
In this study we see the Jews figure. U learn what and who they r and when u see them another time u
know who they r.
We don’t just perceive table we see objects and shapes and then we know what to do with them. The
problem we over generalize when we categorize.
We get rid of stereotyping we get rid of learning. Because we associate things based on what we learn or
This study is of group of people and discusses the play they seen together. After the study they were given
questionnaire and were asked who said what. The people did a lot of mistakes and so therefore they
associated what they think who said what in to different category. They have used categorizing and short-
cut based on what they knew and answered the questionnaire Categorization & Stereotypes
Stereotypes are traits associated with category
o Positive, negative, neutral traits
Can be useful in making predictions
o Example if u need an answer on religion you will approach someone who is religious based on what
u see them as
o e.g. Jewish read the bible
Are based on a “kernel of truth”
o e.g., Jewish people tend to read the bible
Are fast & efficient
o Don't need to think actively
But, they are also over-generalizations; especially when applied to an individual
o Not everyone does a specific thing e.g., Not all Jewish people study/read the bible
Categorize world into in-groups & out-groups
o In-group: Groups to which we belong
E.g., Torontonian, Indian, Canadian, etc.
o Out-group: Groups to which we do not belong
E.g., American, male, Christian
This simplifies social world Us vs. Them
Some groups known to be permeable and can change from one group to another
Categorizing accentuates inter-group differences
o Problematic because of their extreme distance they create to one another.
o -When u dehumanize a group is easier to treat them poorly.
Tend to think positively of in-group, IG bias
o Our groups are an extension of us
o We tend to think people belong to our group share uniqueness and the other groups are different
and don't have any uniqueness to them
o Even minimal groups—camp! Different colour groups; like your own colour group and not others
(love in-group and not out-group)
Tend to think of out-groups as all the same, OG homogeneity
Origin of Stereotypes: Environmental
Both are innocent victims of Toronto gunplay! We still hear about Creba!
Is the Media accurately portraying reality?
o Jane Creba is well known to many but not Chantel Dunn. Both victims were in the parking lot
caught by a gunfight. However Chantel didn't make the front-page news. The news that was
received had to do with their race. Jane is white and Chantel is black.
o The media is bias in what they say. The way we can answer this question is what makes the news
and what does not.
o It sk