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Lecture 4

Lecture 4 - Stereotypes, Discrimination and Prejudice-Are They Inevitable - September 30.docx

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Ashley Waggoner Denton

September 30, 2013. Lecture 4 - Stereotypes, Prejudice, & Discrimination: Are They Inevitable? Perceiving Groups  Social categorization: The process of perceiving people as members of a social group rather than as individuals o Gender o Ethnicity o Age  Benefits of social categorization: o Allows us to go beyond the information given  We can infer more information based on what we already see or know; things they are good or bad at, personality traits, intelligence level, hobbies  Looking at the individual as a member of a group we can assume that have all of the qualities that define members of that particular group o Allows us to ignore irrelevant information  E.g., a doctor; we only care that they are a doctor who can help us with illnesses, not their political leanings or religious beliefs or what sports team they like, these things are not important to us  Negative effects of social categorization: o Exaggerates within-group similarities  Makes us view all members of the group as being very similar to one another, because we are focused on their shared group characteristics (rather than on those things that make them unique individuals)  E.g., assuming all Republicans are crazy o AND exaggerates between-group differences  Become more aware of the differences between the members of different groups than of the similarities  E.g., differences between old and young, Liberals and Conservatives, etc. Group Identification: When “I” Becomes “We”  We tend to see ingroup members as: o Similar to ourselves o Unique among each other o Likeable  We tend to treat ingroup members: o With generousity and compassion  since what’s good for the group is good for the self  We also tend to exhibit “group-enhancing” biases toward ingroup members: o Positive behaviour is global, general, reflects who the group member really is o Negative behaviour is specific, circumstantial, an isolated occurrence o Ultimate attribution error; same applies to outgroup members but with opposite assumptions  When “You” Becomes “Them” o We tend to see outgroup members as:  Different from ourselves  Similar to each other  outgroup homogeneity effect  Happens because we know less outgroup members than we do ingroup members; i.e. we make assumptions on a group based on the few people we know who belong to that group whereas we know many ingroup members and can identify that they are individuals as well as members of a group and can actually be very different from one another  We see outgroup members, often, under constrained circumstances where they may seem more similar to each other in the given situation than they would normally  Less likeable o We tend to treat outgroup members more negatively than ingroup members:  Even when the groups are completely arbitrary, have no history, no stereotypes, no defining characteristics at all: Minimal Intergroup Situation o Minimal group paradigm: paradigm examines the question: What are the minimal conditions necessary for discrimination to occur between two (or more) groups?  Important to recognize the distinction between ingroup favouritism outgroup hostility  Ingroup favouritism occurs right away, with essentially any type of categorization (“X group and W group”, “blue shirts and red shirts”, etc.) o Want ingroup to do better than outgroup  Outgroup hostility requires the presence of a threat or conflict  Unequal status amplifies discrimination Stereotypes  Stereotype: A cognitive representation or impression of a social group that people form by associating particular characteristics with the group o May include many different types of information; may be positive or negative; may be accurate or inaccurate  “Pictures in the head”  simplified mental images of what groups look like and what they do o 1922, scientist referred to this concept o “Stereotype” refers to old-fashioned method of newspaper printing, press- printing; product was called a stereotype  Is there anything wrong with positive stereotypes? o 1. Treats everyone in the group the same  Overestimated uniformity o 2. Sets unrealistic expectations  Rigid expectations o Stereotypes of most groups contain a mix of positive and negative information  E.g., blondes are dumb but have more fun  Stereotype Content Model (Susan Fiske and colleagues, 2002) o Low and High Competence level vs. Low and High Warmth level  Paternalistic Stereotype: Low C, High W; low status, not competitive  E.g., housewives, elderly people, disabled people  Illicit pity  Admiration: High C, High W; high status, not competitive  E.g., ingroup, close allies  Illicit admiration and respect  Contemptuous Stereotype: Low C, Low W; low status, competitive  E.g., welfare recipients, poor people  Illicit disgust  Envious Stereotype: High C, Low W; high status, competitive  E.g., Asians, Jews, rich people, feminists  Illicit envy  Accuracy of Stereotypes o Some stereotypes accurately describe the direction of differences between two groups, though the differences are often exaggerated  E.g., There ARE differences in general between men and women, but not so many or such extreme differences to push apart the two groups as much as these stereotypes do o Some stereotypes have no basis in reality whatsoever  E.g., Marshall takes Robin to Minnesota bar, they all think that all Canadians are afraid of the dark  Stereotype Formation: Illusory Correlation o The perception of a relationship where none exists, or perception of a stronger relationship than actually exists o Examples:  It always rains on the weekend  It always rains after you wash the car  The phone always rings when you are in the shower o Infrequent events grab our attention  Seen vs. not seen  Majority positive vs. minority negative  When an event is both infrequent (e.g., drug offences) and performed by a minority group (e.g., Hispanics), it becomes “doubly distinctive”  The joint occurrence of two distinctive vents (minority member – Group B and distinctive event – negative behaviour) probably attracted more attention and cause faulty impressions  ….  ….  Stereotype Formation: Social Roles o Social roles often determine the actions people perform  Remember the correspondence bias  What does this imply? o Our stereotypes of particular groups….. o E.g., gender roles  In many cultures, men traditionally worked outside the home, while women take care of the house and children o These roles demand different traits  Employee roles: assertive, rational, task-oriented  Homemaker roles: gentle, warm, interpersonally-oriented o Seeing individuals behave in their respective roles, without adjusting for the fact that these are the behaviours the roles require, can lead people to conclude that men are assertive, rational, task-oriented by nature, and women are gentle warm and interpersonal by nature o Hoffman and Hurst, 1990: a planet with two different groups of aliens  Orinthians:  Most members involved in childcare  Ackmians:  Most members employed outside the home  Childcare Workers:  Typically nurturing, affectionate, gentle  Employees:  Typically competitive and ambitious  DV: guess the creatures’ typical psychological characteristics  Results:  Traits were attached to social groups, not social roles  Applied stereotypic traits even to those group members who performed the clashing role  Stereotype Formation: The Media o Gender portrayals in the media have obviously changed since the 1950s  Except for shows like The Simpsons, Family Guy, American Dad, Cleveland Show, etc. These shows are still rather traditional with their gender roles. o But how much have commercials changed? o Although female television characters have changed significantly, traditional gender roles are still very much alive and reinforced through commercials  E.g., cleaning product commercials almost always star women, whereas power tools and garden tools and star men o Do biased media portrayals really matter? o Geis and colleagues (1984) showed female students either traditional commercials or role-reversed commercials  Women who watched the traditional commercials expressed lower self- confidence, less independence, and fewer career aspirations than those who watched the non-traditional commercials  Stereotype Formation: Social Learni
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