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Michael Inzlicht

ANTC12 FINAL EXAM NELSON CHAPTER 6 EXPERIENCING PREJUDICE - stereotyping and prejudice occur in a dynamic social context involving the perceiver and target reacting to each other o we must consider the perspective of the target in this social interaction SOCIAL STIGMA - STIGMA: the possession of a characteristic or attribute that conveys a negative social identity - Goffman (1963) denotes three types of stigmas: o ABOMINATIONS OF THE BODY o BLEMISHES OF INDIVIDUAL CHARACTER o TRIBAL STIGMAS OF RACE, NATION AND RELIGION (TRIBAL MARKERS) GROUP IDENTIFICATION - individuals faced with external threats (such as prejudice) show stronger in-group identification - people differ in the degree to which they identify with their stigmatized group o high-identifiers are much more likely to associate themselves with their group, even when – especially when – it has a negative image ; they derive much of their self-esteem from their identification as a group member o low-identifiers are much more likely to disassociate themselves from the group, especially when the group has a negative image ; they are much more individualistic and opportunistic in that they will only identify themselves with the group when it would positively affect their social identity STEROTYPE THREAT - STEROTYPE THREAT (ST): situation in which negative expectations about ability (due to stereotypes about the group’s ability on that dimension) lead the stigmatized person to experience anxiety at the thought of performing poorly and confirming the stereotype ; this anxiety often has the unfortunate effects of inhibiting performance and confirming the stereotype - ST has its effect through the mediating influence of a drop in working-memory capacity - ST is especially likely to occur to people who strongly identify with the group and in those who are self-conscious of their stigmatized status - those under ST fare worse physiologically ; may explain higher incidences of heart disease and high blood pressure among Blacks - Blacks consistently score lower on IQ tests than Whites ; could be due to socioeconomic disadvantages ; could also be the effects of ST o when test was said to be diagnostic of intelligence, they scored lower ; when it was said to not be diagnostic, they performed as well as Whites ; just making the stereotype salient impaired the performance of Blacks on the task, even in the non-diagnostic condition - this disparity could also be due to STEREOTYPE LIFT: non-stigmatized persons experience a performance enhancement when they engage in a downward comparison between themselves and a member of a stereotyped out-group - being a member of the stereotyped group can also affect the degree of one’s self-confidence about performance on the stereotype-relevant dimension o those who were higher on STEREOTYPE VULNERABILITY (the tendency to expect, perceive and be influenced by stereotypes about one’s social category) tended to be the least in touch with the quality of their performances on a stereotype relevant task - commonly held stereotype that women are less capable in science and math o studies have found that when women are told a math test is diagnostic of their abilities, they perform poorly ; when it is non-diagnostic, they perform as well as men o completing a math test in a group in which she is the sole woman (with two other men) makes salient the stereotype of women’s poor math performance ; they perform poorly in these situations versus completing a math test in a group of two other women - the ability to be unaffected by a stereotype against one’s group becomes much more difficult to the degree that one’s identity is closely tied to membership in that group - on the subject of anti-Asian American prejudice, recent work suggests that this prejudice has two major components: o ENVY of the (perceived) excessive intellectual competence and; o DISDAIN for their (perceived) low sociability o it is the low sociability (and not the perceived high intellectual competence) that primarily drives anti-Asian American prejudice - Fiske’s Stereotype-Content Model (SCM) o many stereotypes and prejudices can be located along two dimensions: COMPETENCE and WARMTH - important to remember: eliminating ST does not eliminate differences in performance between stereotyped groups and non-stereotyped groups - why do stereotype threatened individuals who score similarly to non-stereotype threatened persons (e.g. Whites) on intelligence tests achieve less than their White counterparts? o DISIDENTIFICATION: process whereby members of stereotyped groups disengage their identity from a stereotype-relevant domain, in order to preserve their self-esteem o although disidentified stigmatized individuals agree that the ST dimension is important, it is not important for them and for their self-identity o some suggest that Blacks who achieved academic success did so by distancing themselves from their culture of origin -> increased depression and anxiety (not necessarily identity confusion) o both high and low-achieving Blacks were more likely to negatively evaluate and psychologically distance themselves from their racial group when they believed that their group was negatively evaluated by others o paradoxically, achieving academic success can have important psychological consequences for Blacks o these processes may arise in the individual’s early teen years o can be both adaptive and maladaptive - saves the self-esteem but also imperils the individual’s chances for success and achievement in domains that society may regard as important - Social-Identity Theory: we derive our identity and self-esteem through two avenues – OUR OWN ACCOMPLISHMENTS and through OUR GROUP MEMBERSHIP o when one belongs to a devalued or threated group, continued identification with the group threatens one’s self-esteem ; threatened individuals may therefore disidentify with their in-group in order to protect their self-esteem - negative stereotypes that are inconsistent with the in-group stereotype lead in-group members to increase their perceptions of INGROUP HOMOGENEITY or solidarity/unity (participants’ identification with their in-group increased) ; however, when participants were exposed to a negative stereotype-consistent threat, the participant had a more difficult time denying the validity of the stereotype expression – they emphasize INGROUP HETEROGENEITY which may reflect a weakening identification with their in-group as a whole - there are ways to reduce stereotype threat ; not enough to prevent disidentification of stigmatized students - must also enhance the individual’s identification with the stereotype- threatened domain SELF-ESTEEM - some research concludes that stigmatized persons suffer no damage to their self-esteem and in some cases, their self-esteem is higher than that of non-stigmatized counterparts ; other studies indicate that some stigmatized individuals do suffer lower self-esteem o these mixed results may have to do with the PERCIEVED CONTROLLABILITY of the stigma o may also have to do with a problem with the way researchers have conceptualized and measured self-esteem - Blacks tend to have higher self-esteem than Whites ; could be due to the fact that they do not base their self-worth on the way others view them - the reference group for Blacks is other Blacks, not society ; by embracing their distinctiveness and positive racial identity, they maintain high self-esteem - self-esteem is not a stable aspect of personality ; more accurately conceptualized as a kind of working model that is multiply determined and constructed by the situational, motivational and interpersonal factors in a given situation - four ways the stigmatized can maintain their self-esteem: o attributing the negative evaluations and reactions of others to prejudice o devaluing outcomes on which their group compares poorly with other groups o comparing one’s stigmatized in-group with other stigmatized groups, rather than to non-stigmatized groups o psychologically disengaging their self-esteem from feedback in domains in which their group is at a disadvantage - self-esteem in stigmatized individuals seems to be fairly resilient against the negative influence of others’ prejudice and stereotyping DENIAL OF DISCRIMINATION - another way that stigmatized individuals maintain their self-esteem: deny that they have been personally discriminated against o they acknowledge that their group suffers discrimination and prejudice in society but claim that they have not personally had such negative experiences o this cognitive distortion allows them to avoid the uncomfortable reality that the world may not be just and that their life may be negatively affected by their stigma - what determines whether a stigmatized individual will perceive the behaviour of a non- stigmatized person as discrimination or prejudice? o the degree to which the stigmatized person believes in an ideology that legitimizes existing status differences between groups will influence their perceptions of personal communication ; the more an individual does not endorse such an ideology and instead believes in individual mobility of group members, the less likely it is that negative behaviour from the non-stigmatized person will be interpreted as discrimination o the social costs of doing so – stigmatized individuals who make attributions to discrimination are perceived as complainers and are generally less favourably evaluated by others SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY - White’s views of their own group was largely positive (with the exception of the characteristic “materialistic”) and their view of Blacks was very negative (with the exception of “musical”, “peace-loving” and “proud”) - Blacks tended to view Whites in very negative terms (except for the positive characteristics of “intelligent” and “industrious”) while viewing their own group positively (but attributing traits like “lazy” and “superstitious” to themselves) - what might explain the process whereby a stigmatized group comes to accept and believe some negative stereotypes about itself? o SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY: process by which a perceiver’s expectations about a target lead that target to behave in ways that confirm those expectations - self-fulfilling prophecies do not occur when the target is aware of the perceiver’s expectations - self-fulfilling prophecies are a robust phenomenon but its effects on maintaining stereotypes and eliciting stereotypic behaviour in stigmatized individuals is limited INTERGROUP INTERACTIONS - people experience discomfort and a desire to avoid interactions with physically different persons because they are conflicted over whether to stare at the individual or not - the tendency to stare at an out-group member comes primarily from curiousity about a group with whom the subjects infrequently come into contact with - people did not derogate the physically different persons, so staring (and avoidance behaviour) was not attributable to feelings of disgust or dislike - staring and avoidance were reduced when people had more time to get accustomed to the physically different persons via simple habituation DYNAMIC NATURE OF INTERACTIONS - typical intergroup interaction is characterized by some degree of anxiety o the anxiety of high-prejudice majority members may reflect their discomfort with the minority group and their preference to avoid the minority group altogether  behaviours of the minority-group individual in response to the high-prejudice majority member are likely to be seen by the latter as supportive evidence for their stereotypes o for low-prejudice individuals, it is important to distinguish between those who have had many intergroup experiences (i.e. they are intergroup skilled) from those who have had few intergroup interactions (i.e. intergroup unskilled)  both groups are highly motivated to indicate to the minority group individual that they are not prejudiced  intergroup skilled know how to present their low-prejudice self to the other individual and feel little or no anxiety in the interaction  the minority group member is thus less likely to misinterpret the behaviour of the low-prejudice majority member as an indicator of underlying prejudice ; minority-group member responds in a similar fashion  intergroup unskilled individual is in a very difficult spot ; this interaction holds the potential for much misunderstanding (don’t know what behaviours are appropriate, what to expect from the minority member) ; uncertainty leads to anxiety  minority group members will confuse their anxiety for signs of prejudice -> will then respond with withdrawal, dismissal or hostility - Weitz (1972) found that very favourable racist attitudes were strongly correlated with avoidant, unfriendly behaviour ; while Whites claimed to be low in prejudice, their nonverbal behaviour indicated otherwise - whether one’s stigma is visible or invisible makes a big difference in the person’s interaction with a non-stigmatized person o individuals with invisible stigmas were more likely to take their partner’s perspective, remember what occurred in the interaction and remember details about what the partner said ; invisible deviants need to pay attention to all information that might be relevant to exposing their condition o those with visible stigmas were much less likely to remember the interaction details, though they remembered details about the partner’s appearance and room ; visible deviants have a “spoiled identity” and are engaged in a kind of damage control o non-stigmatized participant encouraged their stigmatized partner to contribute to the discussion, which they did, but later did not remember their contributions and reported that they disliked their stigmatized partner - if you enter a social interaction expecting it to go poorly, it is likely to turn out poorly - Blacks are more skilled at intergroup interactions than Whites because they encounter Whites more often (Whites are the majority) EXPECTATIONS - another factor that fuels the negative expectancies for the intergroup interaction is the notion that the majority and minority have different perspectives from which they approach and understanding of the world - narratives and counter-narratives define reality for various individuals ; much of Black history is simply counter-narrative INTERGROUP ANXIETY - hypothesis: because White women likely did not have as much intergroup experience, they would feel more negative affect than Black subjects ; NOT SUPPORTED o whether the subject was the sole representative of her ethnic group did not influence her reactions to the intergroup encounter either o but, White women did show decreased task attention o authors suggest that Blacks showed little affective, cognitive or behaviour negative experiences in the intergroup interaction because of their greater intergroup experience METASTEREOTYPES - METASTEREOTYPES: a person’s beliefs regarding the stereotype that out-group members hold about their group - White Canadians have a common negative stereotype about how they are viewed by Aboriginal Canadians ; the belief in these metastereotypes was associated with more negative affect and expectancies regarding potential intergroup interactions ; when White Canadians endorsed these metastereotypes, they experienced decreased self-esteem and worsened self-concept clarity - 2/3 of Blacks indicated that they believed that Whites endorsed every stereotype about Blacks ; Whites did in fact view Blacks in stereotyped terms (the metastereotypes of Blacks was largely accurate) ; not all Blacks were as strong in their belief that Whites endorsed stereotypes about Blacks ; those who have more contact with Whites are less likely to believe that Whites hold positive views of Blacks - prejudice of the individual taints their perception of both positive and negative behaviour on the part of the disliked out-group member o when the out-group member does something that is perceived as negative, the prejudiced perceiver attributes the action to internal, genetically determined factors ; when the out-group member does something positive, it is attributed to luck or seen as an “exceptional case” (i.e. subtyping) ATTRIBUTIONAL AMBIGUITY - the basic problem of attribution: do we attribute people’s behaviours to an internal or external force? - for the non-stigmatized, other peoples behaviours towards them are usually attributed to the personality or performance of the non-stigmatized individual - for the stigmatized, another causal explanation for the behaviour of others towards them is brought to mind – their stigma - attributional ambiguity: situation in which it is difficult for the perceiver to ascertain whether the target’s behaviour was influenced by the situation or by the individual’s personality or attitudes - chronic uncertainty that the stigmatized experience regarding the causes of others’ behaviour toward them has important consequences for the self-esteem, mood, motivation and interpersonal behaviour of the stigmatized - for many stigmatized people, self-esteem can be protected by regarding the negative behaviour of others towards them as a reflection of underlying prejudice and not as a consequence of their personal traits ; make a probability assessment -> try to understand the intent of the stereotyper (can avoid the frustration of trying to ascertain the true motive behind other’s behaviour by assuming that no behaviour that others exhibit toward you is related to your stigma – “innocent until proven guilty” approach) - our expectancies about someone can cause us to regard that person’s normal, innocuous behaviour as symptomatic of the attributed motive, characteristic or personality of the other individual - to protect the self, the stigmatized individual may take a “guilty until proven innocent” approach o these people feel more stressed at potentially prejudiced intergroup interactions and tend to believe they have fewer resources for coping with it ; optimists (those taking an “innocent until proven guilty” approach) do not suffer from these problems - positive feedback from non-stigmatized individuals to the stigmatized can present an attributionally ambiguous situation ; is it patronizing and due to their stigma or is it due to their performance or personal characteristics? - non-stigmatized individuals give more positive ratings to stigmatized individuals versus non- stigmatized individual ; a sympathy effect? ; three possible explanations for these findings: o true positive biases of the majority members o unconscious distortions of true negative feelings o conscious distortions of true negative feelings (due to social-desirability effects) - perceptions of stigmatized individuals are not homogenous o favourable ratings of the handicapped reflected a true underlying positive attitude toward the handicapped whereas the favourable ratings of the Black target seemed to reflect an attempt to cover underlying negative feelings toward Blacks THE PARADOXICAL EFFECTS OF AFFIRMATIVE ACTION - when both the beneficiaries and critics of affirmative action programs perceive the program as unjustified, they will each react negatively to the program - success of the program has been limited - affirmative action may have psychological costs for those who benefit from the program ; implies that they need help from society, are inferior - being the recipient of help can negatively influence one’s self-esteem and feelings of competence - if help is framed such that it is aimed at removing past discriminatory barriers, the minority and non-minority perceivers do not experience negative reactions to such help ; this is less threatening and is seen as social support and an indicator of societal concern for overcoming the negative effects of stereotypes and past discrimination (rather than the fault of an individual who does not conform to societal values or is perceived to lack competence) PERCIEVED CONTROLLABILITY OF THE STIGMA - some stigmas are seen as controllable whereas others are not perceived as controllable or reversible o this has tremendous implications for the affect, self-esteem and motivation of the stigmatized individual as well as their reactions to non-stigmatized people - negative reaction towards an uncontrollable stigma -> no loss of self-esteem, attributed to prejudice - individuals with perceived controllable stigmas face a different set of circumstances: o non-stigmatized are likely to have less sympathy for the stigmatized person because it is thought to reflect a lack of effort or will
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