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PSYC 363 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Stereotype Threat, Confirmation Bias, Steve Reicher

Course Code
PSYC 363
Scott Neufeld
Study Guide

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PSYC 363 MT Short Answer Questions
1. In class we learned about 7 ways that stereotypes can “go wrong”. Describe
three of these reasons and make sure to EXPLAIN each one thoroughly. (6
- Stereotypes can be inaccurate sometime. We are motivated to view our
own group as unique/ special, which leads to “Outgroup homogeneity effect”
- belief that members of outgroups are more similar to each other than members
of our ingroup
- Often, we rely upon quickly without sufficient personal knowledge about
(experience with) the outgroup
- Stereotypes also make it difficult to use individuating information. This
refers to depersonalization as we tend to exaggerate similarity within
groups. Confirmation bias also plays a role in it, which we have the
tendency to search for information that confirm one’s beliefs or hypotheses.
- Since expectancy- confirming information is better remembered, this
helps maintain stereotypes over time
- Stereotype can also be negative due to motivated stereotyping.
Stereotypes provide explanations and excuses for existing inequalities
between groups, our own group’s privilege (self-stereotypes), previous
harm that “we” have done to “them”. Regardless of the facts, we are also
biased to view some groups negatively
2. Define stereotype threat and describe three ways it can be reduced (6 marks).
- Awareness that one’s performance may confirm a negative ingroup stereotype, which
can impair performance.
- Reframing the task: Stereotype threat arises in situations where task descriptions
highlight social identities associated with poor performance. Modifying task
descriptions so that stereotypes are not invoked or are disarmed that can eliminate
stereotype threat, or even reframe the task as a challenge
- Eg insteading of telling the participants that the test is a diagnostic of
intelligence, researchers can reframe the task as intellectual challenge task
- Self-affirmation: A general means for protecting the self from perceived threats
and the consequences of failure is to allow people to affirm their self-worth.
- Eg (Cohen et al., 2006;2009)
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