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Lecture 12

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Carolyn Ensley

 Ethnocentrism  The belief that your own ethnic group, nation, religion is superior to all others  Based on social identity of "us", where everyone else is "them"  Fostered by competition, reduced by interdependence in reaching mutual goals  e.g., Robbers Cave studies  Robbers Cave Experiment  Boys randomly assigned to be "Eagles" or "Rattlers"  Competitions fostered hostility between groups  Situations that required cooperation for success reduced hostility and increased cross- group friendships  Stereotypes  Summary impression of a group, in which a person believes that all members of the group share a common trait or traits (positive, negative, neutral)  May distort reality in three ways:  Exaggerate differences between groups  Produce selective perception  Underestimate differences within other groups  Group Conflict and Prejudice  Prejudice  A strong, unreasonable dislike or hatred of a group, based on a -ve stereotype  The origins of prejudice are universal because it has so many sources and functions:  Psychological, social, economic, and cultural  Origins of Prejudice  Psychological causes  People inflate their own self-worth by disliking groups they see as inferior  Terror management theory - prejudice helps defend against existential terror of death  Social causes  By disliking "them", we feel closer to others who are like us  Economic causes  Legitimizes unequal economic treatment  Oldest prejudice is sexism  Hostile sexism - active dislike of women  Benevolent sexism - puts women on a pedestal  Cultural and national causes  Bonds people to their own ethnic or national group  Defining and Measuring Prejudice  Prejudice is difficult to define and measure  Not all people are prejudiced in the same way or to the same extent  People know they shouldn't be prejudiced so measures of these attitudes have declined  Difference between explicit and implicit prejudice  Measuring Prejudice  Measures of social distance  Possible behavioural expression of prejudice; a reluctance to get "too close" to another group  Measures of what people do when stressed or angry  When angry, drunk, or frustrated, people often expressed their prejudice  Measuring Prejudice  Measures of brain activity  fMRI and PET scans determine which brain areas involved in forming stereotypes, holding prejudiced beliefs, and negative feelings toward another group  Measures of implicit attitudes  Implicit Association Test (IAT) measures the speed of people's positive and negative associations to a target group  Reducing Prejudice and Conflict  Both sides must have equal legal status, economic opportunities, and power  Authorities and community institutions must provide moral, legal, and economic support for both sides  Both sides must have opportunities to work and socialize together, formally and informally  Both sides must cooperat
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