PSYC 3480 Lecture Notes - Susan Fiske, Eocene, Stereotype Threat

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4 Feb 2013
Chapter 2:
Stereotypes can either be obvious or not so much.
Stereotypes= beliefs and assumptions that we associate with a certain group
of people. It is our thoughts about a specific social group.
Gender stereotypes= beliefs we associate with females only and men only.
Prejudice= emotional reaction or attitude toward a specific group of people.
(Negative attitude)
Discrimination= biased treatment to a group of people.
Gender bias= gender stereotypes, gender prejudice and gender
Gender biases throughout history:
The invisibility of women in historical accounts:
Before the 1960s there was not a lot of information on women’s history and
the reason why they are missing so much in history is because women were
confined to home and family.
Only now have feminist historians found more info about women. They
discovered in the 16th cent women artists
o Lavina Fontana- portrait painter
o Artemesia gentileschi- active artist.
Philosopher representation of women:
It has been believed that women are inferior to men and there purpose in life
is to serve men.
Only John Stuart Mill argued that women should have equal rights and
Gender biases in religion and mythology
Religions have negative views on women. With the story with Adam and
chava- women was created from the rib of the man.
Judaism- women are invisible in the torah. (don’t agree with)
In the 21st cent, women are now part of more roles in Judaism with being
rabbis and scholars.
Hinduism- women are defined based on their husband.
Tradition states how women are DIFFERENT from men.
Androcentrism or normative male problem= men are the standard and
everything is compared to that standard.
Gender biases in language
Use negative or subordinate terms to refer to women.
Terms used for women:
There are different terms used to refer to men and women and these terms
aren’t the same.
Women term- more negative, sexualized or trivial connotation
The masculine generic:
= using masculine nouns and pronouns to refer to all human beings (men and
ex: his includes her- every student take his pencil.
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Many studies have been conducted that the generic terms aren’t actually
neutral. Because in the 50 studies conducted, the term man and he make
thoughts about males, where as thoughts about both genders.
Gender biases in the media:
Stereotypes representations:
These conclusions about the media support the differential treatment of
women theme as well as the invisibility of women theme:
1. Women are relatively invisible- they are underrepresented in the media. 10-
28% constituted of the opinion columnists
2. Women are relatively inaudible- we usually hear a mans voice in voice overs.
3. Women are seldom shown working outside the home
4. Women are shown doing housework
5. Women and men are represented differently- men are treated more
seriously. When women run for office, its hard to find a newspaper that
doesn’t comment on her physical features
6. Women’s bodies are used differently from men’s bodies- never see
overweight women, women are seen in seductive clothes where as men are
7. Women of colour are underrepresented and they are often shown in a
particularly biased way
8. Lower social class women are underrepresented and they are often shown in
a particularly biased way.
The effects of stereotyped representations:
Yes, the media does reflect reality- because they reflect that women are
unseen and unheard. Also, people believe that women should be more
Yes, the media can actually influence reality by changing some peoples
attitudes and cognitive performance- study done that after seeing
stereotyped ads, men and women have a less feminist attitude.
Study done on college women who have seen traditional ads vs. those who
haven’t seen the stereotyped ads. In the end these two groups had similar
career goals.
Media can influence our attitudes toward other people
It can influence our cognitive performance.
The concept of stereotypes
People think certain things are more likely for men or women, but in the end
they are wrong.
Communion= a concern for you relationship with other people.
Agency= concern with your own self interests. (stereotypically masculine)
o Womens agency scores have been increasing in the past 20 years.
Stereotypes about women and men from different ethnic groups:
Study conducted that asked college students from 4 different ethnic groups
about which adjectives apply to certain groups and tht gender.
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