PSYC12- CH 1 notes

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1 Mar 2011
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Chapter 1- Introduction to the study of Stereotyping and Prejudice
-Groups are the basic building blocks of society
-Some disadvantages and complications that group life brings
oMate competition and mate retention
oTend to form closer ties to members of their own groups
oTend to favour their own group (in group)
oPeople tends to favour group membership even when the group are just arbitrary criteria
-Prejudice: negative feelings about other groups
-Stereotypes: believing that certain characteristics are associated with other groups, often because the
outgroup members are perceived to be antithetical or the ingroups welfare or values
Why is prejudice and stereotyping important?
-Need to understand the negative influence such thinking has on the thoughts, feelings, and behaviour of
people in their daily lives, and how they relate to the targets of their prejudice, it is important to
understand such negative attitudes form the basis for subsequent negative intergroup behaviour
-Some of the most intense intergroup hostility has been based on a difference in religious beliefs
-Any group one can imagine has been the object of prejudices and stereotypes by other groups or
Defining stereotyping
Leippmanns Stereotype
-stereotype derives from a term to describe a printing process in which fixed casts of material are
-Walter Lippmann used the word stereotype to describe the tendency of people to think of someone or
something in similar terms (same attributes) based on a common feature shared by each
-pictures in our heads of the world outside and that these representations are more like templates into
which we try to simplify the sometimes confusing information we receive from the world
- ‘we pick out what our culture has already defined for us and we tend to perceive that which we have
picked out in the form stereotyped for us by our culture
Stereotypes tell us what social information is important to perceive and to disregard in our
Confirm pre-existing stereotypes by paying attention to stereotype consistent information
and disregarding information that is inconsistent with our stereotypes
The content of stereotypes is largely determined by the culture in which one lives
Stereotyping: From bad to Neutral
-Stereotyping was seen as an outward indicator of irrational, nonanalytic cognition
-Later, stereotype became an exaggerated belief associated with a category and that it ought to be
examined as a normal psychological process
The social- cognitive Definition
-With birth to social cognition, researchers came to regard stereotyping as a rather automatic process of
categorization that many cognitive and social psychologists believe is inherent in the very nature of the
way humans think about the world
-Brigham: stereotyping as a generalization made about a group concerning a trait attribution, which is
considered to be unjustified by an observer
-A stereotype is any generalization about a group whether an observer believes it is justified or not
-A generalization about a group is bound to be unjustified for some portion of the group members
-Hamilton and Troliers: definition of a stereotype as a cognitive structure that contains the perceivers
knowledge, beliefs, and expectations about a human group
oToo broad to accurately capture the true meaning of a stereotype
oSounds more like a definition of a schema than a stereotype
Schema: may be defined as a cognitive structure that represents knowledge about a concept
or type of stimulus
Schemas are broader cognitive structures that contain our knowledge of a stimulus, our
expectations for the motives or behaviour of the stimulus and our feelings toward the
-Stereotypes are much more specific and are subsumed within a schema
-Ashmore and Del Boca: a set of beliefs about the personal attributes of a group of people
oMore consistent with the essence of many past definitions of stereotypes because it restricts the
meaning of stereotype to a generalization about a group of people
Cultural and individual stereotype
-Cultural stereotype: shared or community side patterns of beliefs
-Individual stereotype: beliefs held by an individual about the characteristic of a group
-Sometimes the measure of stereotype content in which the respondents answers are restricted to the
stereotype content choices offered by the measure tends to provide on inaccurate measure of the persons
-Ones cultural stereotype about a group may not be the same as ones individual stereotype about the
-Experiments demonstrated that individual stereotypes are most directly related to that persons specific
thoughts, feelings and behaviour toward the group
Is a stereotype an attitude?
-Attitude is a general evaluation of some object
oUsually viewed as falling somewhere on a good-bad, or favourable-unfavourable dimension
-Attitude viewed traditionally
oA behaviour component Prejudice and discrimination
oAn effective component Prejudice and discrimination
oA cognitive component stereotype
-Stereotype may be intergroup attitudes, partitioned into these three components
oResearch shows that stereotypes represent only the cognitive portion of any intergroup attitude
-Discrimination: any negative behaviour directed toward an individual based on their membership in a
-Although a stereotype is not an attitude, an intergroup attitude is composed of ones thoughts or beliefs
about, feel toward and behaviour towards a particular group
Positive Vs. Negative Stereotypes
-Researcher do not regard stereotypes as being good or bad
-They are generalizations about a game
-Positive stereotypes: beliefs that attribute desirable or positive characteristics to a group
Defining Prejudice
oIndicate a prejudgement about something
oSuggest on evaluation (positive or negative) towards a stimulus
oSuggest a negative evaluation of another stimulus
*an evaluation is an attitude that brings us to a controversial point in the prejudice
Prejudice as negative affect
-The nature of prejudice (Allport, 1954)
oPrejudice as an antipathy base upon a faulty and inflexible generalization
oPrejudice is seen as a strong negative feeling toward someone based on a generalization one has
about the persons group
Corresponds mostly clearly with the tradition
-View of an intergroup attitude as compare of cognition, effect, and behaviour
Prejudice as a attitude
-Prejudice as an evolution of a stimulus