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PSY323 Lecture5 Notes.pdf

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University of Toronto St. George
Alison Luby

Origins of Stereotypes 9/27/12 4:01 PM 1. Categorization Processes • Stereotypes= knowledge structures associating members of a social category with specific attributes o People know the same cultural stereotypes but differ in how much they endorse them § Personal stereotypes aren’t necessarily cultural stereotypes o Consistency in cultural stereotypes make people think they must be correct • When we link stimuli to categories, we are making probabilistic inferences • Categories have fuzzy boundaries and category members can share many or few critical features of the category (its hard to define the “defining feature”) • There are more differences within than between sexes • Stereotype begin because we categorize people (lets us make better predictions about what they will do) • We learn gender stereotypes very early in our lives, so categorizing on these dimensions becomes automatic for us • Stangor et al (1992) o Learned about conversations between individuals then they had to remember who said what during the conversation o The targets varied by race and sex o When we categorize on a dimension, source confusion should occur within categories o When we categorize on a dimension… o Within sex-errors occurred more frequently than did within- race errors § More likely to think it was lisa not shaniqua than think it was lamar o We seem to spontaneous categorize by gender o Recall and diary methods also show that people mistake others of the same sex more than other dimensions § Ex. Age, race, height, built, occupation o Once we categorize individuals we automatically activate stereotypes in line with that categorization § Ex. Stereotypes, roles, status o Categorization helps us to understand the world quickly/ easily and predict what others are going to do 2. Content and origins of stereotypes • Gender stereotypes represent categories composed of core or prototypical traits that are strongly linked to the category • They are surrounded by peripheral traits that are less strongly associated • The themes/ core traits fall into a dichotomy: agentic and communal • Agentic= mode of being in which people focus on achieving thie own needs o Instrumentality= an orientation towards action, accomplishment and leadership o Strong and active o Masculine o The core/ prototypical traits for men generally belong to potency/ power dimension • Communal- mode of being in which individuals focus on connecting with others o Expressiveness orientation to emotion & relationship) o Weak and passive, feminine, niceness/ nurturance dimension • Gender stereotypes are multi-faceted and there is more than one “typical” male/female • Deaux & Lewis (1984) identified separate components of gender stereotypes including traits, role behaviors, occupations, physical appearance o People see the components as independent to some extent o However, info about one component lead to inferences about personality… • Dunkle and Francis (1990) found that the masculinity/ femininity of facial appearance can impact judgments of a persons sexual orientation o Guys with feminine faces more likely to be judged as gay/ lesbian • Cejka Eagly (1999) factor analyzed a list of trait adjectives used in earlier gender stereotype research and found 3 dimensions: o Physical characteristics o Personality o Cognitive • Deaux (1984) asked participants to make probability judgments about whether men/women would have particular characteristics. o They assigned higher probability to the possession of stereotype characteristics by men/women. o But they always acknowledged some probability that each characteristic could be displayed by an individual of either sex. • 1. Do these traits come from the social roles that people occupy? o • The traditional social role for women has been to be a mother. o • The traditional social role for men has been to be a provider/protector. o Hoffman & Hurst (1990) § Participants then read personality, social group, and occupational descriptions of 15 members of each group. ú – E.g., Dotack, an Ackmian who raises children, is outspoken, compassionate, and reliable; ú – Damorian is an Orinthian who works in the city and is individualistic, warm, and creative. § • Each description included one agentic, one communal, and one gender­‐neutral trait. ú i.e., all are equally masculine and feminine. § Despite being equally masculine and feminine, the different groups had different social roles. ú – The Ackmians were typically (12/15) child rearers ú – The Orinthians were city workers (12/15) § • Some participants learned that the groups were different species, others learned that the groups were subcultures of the same species. § • Orinthians were rated to be more agentic, Ackmians, more communal. § • ...despite the fact the groups were described to be equally agentic/communal. § • These effects were exaggerated when told that the groups were biologically different. § • This study shows that people were inferring stereotypes from roles, not traits. • 2. Are status differences ascribed to the roles/traits? o People assume that high­‐status group members have more agentic traits than low­‐status groups. o Members of top groups would be competent/ambitious. o People assume that low­‐status group members have more communal traits. o Would have to be warm and expressive to get into high­‐ power individuals’ good graces. § • Conway, Pizzamiglio, and Mount (1996) § Participants learned about the Bwisi and Mwangai, described to be Pacific Islanders. § They had similar roles in society, but different status: one group was said to have more elaborate clothes, more prominent places in religious rituals, and access to special foods. § • People rated the higher status group to be more agentic and the lower status group to be more communal. Article 4: Basically about how sex-typed individuals process information using gender schemas even if they only abstractly relate to gender Even though in society we discourage negative stereotypes about women, the emphasis on the gender dichotomy leads to gender schemas. -sex-typed people recalled them in gender clusters -looking at world with schema that was very gender-typed-- the lens at which we look at the world at • sex-typed people responded to traits more similar to themselves • -what do you associate with the self and what do you not • 1: how do you organize world • 2: Do you apply this lens to yourself • -because looking at world with this gender view • -since they associate masculinity and feminity schemas and apply them to thereselves • -gender schemas become so engrained that people see world through gender-- extra level of personalization III. Cross-cultural consistency in gender stereotypes • Women have nurturing and men have breadwinning roles in most societies • Social role theory would predict similar stereotypes across culture • Evolutionary view would also predict similar cross-cultural stereotypes • Cultural view would predict much more cross cultural variation • Williams and Best (1990) examined gender stereotypes in 25 nations in NA, Sam Europe Africa and Asia o Participants rated 300 traits in terms of whether the trait is more frequently associated with women or men or not differentially associated between the 2 sexes o Traits to do with: agency independence linked to males o Women: more communal, sexual, nurturing, week o We see this cross-cultural agreement and happening in at least 20/25 cultures across the world o The traits fit with ambivalent sexism; men are domineering and bad but bad; women are lovely but weak o Also fits with social role theory § Men's bold traits reinforce power differentials- provider and protector § Women’s lovely traits make them good nurturers; women’s bad trait influences lower status • Murray (1938) o Classical taxonomy o Words such as abasement, achievement, aggression, autonomy etc. o Separating the traits- half belong to women and half to men o In all of the nations studied, stereotypically masculine traits consistently related to power and achievement motives o Stereotypically feminine traits consistently related to nurturing, relationships and power avoidant motives IV. Evaluative aspects of gender stereotypes • On average the traits associated with females are highly positive than the traits associated with men • Strange because low-status groups are viewed more positively • Both groups have desirable traits • The desirable traits for men correspond with competence/ agentic/ instrumental • Women, communion/ warmth • We make different assumptions based on different warmth • Stereotype allows men to be respected and women to be liked o These dimensions of competence v. warmth are though to account for 80% of the variance in people’s impression of others o Warmth generates more liking- we like people who care more about fulfilling others’ goals than their own ambitions o Competence generates more respect- we respect those who are oriented toward achieving their own goals • Glick (2004) • Participants of different personalities generated their own list associated with men and women • They then rated each traits on a scale from extremely unfavorable or extremely favorable • Both stereotypes were rated more positively on average • Women’s stereotypes were more positive than men’s in all the nations that they studied • Stereotypes are consistent across cultures o Which perspective doe this evidence support? § Social role theory § Evolutionary ú Perhaps they are based on biological differences between men and women ú Some evidence to support this claim would be if stereotypes can be shown to be accurate • Ratio method • For each trait people estimate the proportion of men/ women who have the trait and report whether they themselves have the trait • People overestimate the differences between men and women in general compared to the differences between women/ men in their reports • Essentially we are overinflating how much we think people are conforming to the stereotypes; Even though we are not like that • Swim (1994) • Ps estimated average sex differences on a number of traits and skills • Compared these estimates to published data that examined sex differences for those traits and skills o Estimated accurately 38% of the time o Overestimate sex difference 28% of the time o Underestimate them 34% of the time o There was no pattern regarding which traits were accurate, except for the trait, happy o A later study found that participant stereotypes correlated pretty well with sex difference research • Beyer (1999) found that college students believed more strongly in academic gender stereotypes than GPAs accounted for o Ex. They underestimated female GPAs compared to male ones , particularly for masculine-stereotyped majors o Even if people can accurately estimate average differences between they sexes, they might overestimate the similarities within each group § I.e. underestimate within group stereotypes • But do these stereotypes have a kernel of truth? • Categorizing people into stereotypes necessitates simplifying reality • When we categorize people into in and out groups, we fall prey to outgroup homogeneity effects (OHE) o Thinking that ingroup is much more variable than outgroup o OHE exaggerates stereotypes • We can get ourselves into a lot of trouble when we use a stereotype to generate expectations about individual others o There is a lot of variation within groups o We will be wrong when we assume that a particular person is going to be like the stereotype • If you expect someone to act in a certain way, you can interpret his or her behavior differently • If you expect someone to act in a certain way, you can see what you expect to see • If you expect someone to act in a certain way, you can make what you expect come true • People can confirm a stereotype for reasons other than biological differences V. Stereotype Exceptions • Why don’t we update our stereotypes when we have so many non- stereotypic examples??
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