Ch 2 notes

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Michael Inzlicht

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Chapter 2: Origin and Maintenance of Stereotypes and Prejudice The Formation of Stereotypes Categorization o The human brain seems to almost automatically classify or categorize similar objects in the environment o Stereotypes were no longer re: as the product of lazy thinking by the uneducated or those with moral deficiency o Now stereotypes= a natural consequence of cognition Why do we categorize? o We have a limited-capacity cognitive system Cannot simultaneously process all the available info o We categorize people (and objects and ideas) based on shared features, time or space o Based on Aristotles principle of association We assume that things that are similar on the basis of one feature or bc they occur togetherwill likely have other notable similarities on a # of dimensions i.e. Blondes; they are fun ppl, attract fun ppl, do fun things only sometimes are they rational (like a political candidates attitudes on various political issues) or illogical- hair or skin colour human cognition is often anything but rational and logical(throughout the text book) Types of Categorization o We tend to categorize people along a few broad categories: mostly on race, gender and age Most obvious + immediate Yield information about useful distinctions in social behaviour between those in different groups = basicprimitive categories(special status by researchers) Process = very quick and with repetition can become virtually automatic and nonconscious i.e. merely being exposed to whiteblack face can evoke associated cog, beliefs, feelings etc. o There are suggestions that stereotypes are not automatically activated for all stimuli o Upon perceiving category words (Hispanic, woman), we automatically think of assoc stereotypes for that category, YET when seeing a member of one of these grps, we do not automatically think of all the stereotypes for the groups (race, gender, age) Which makes sense since category labels do not require the perceiver to categorize the object Once placed into a category a lot of information can be predicted (associated stereotypes) These associated stereotypes are automatically evoked and depend on the salient dimension (category we focus on) If you see a face, you need to categorize.and it can fall under a # of dimensionscategories (race, age, etc.)thus we do not automatically stereotype Only when the perceiver wants to quickly evaluate the target in the pic do stereotypes become activated as a useful means of arriving at an attitude toward the target Ingroups and Outgroups o Ingroup groups we belong to o Outgroups groups we do not belong to o Expectations of ingroups and outgroups can also depend on environment (expected behaviour at concert vs. at school) o You have diff ingroups (age, race, family, school, work) o Taylor (1981) Demonstrated the effect of ones salient groups on perception + memory for social info Watch a discussion between blacks and whites Asked to recall who said what Could attribute to race very well Recall to the specific individual not good In our mind we split up (black talk form white talk) People tended to remember info in terms of race categories instead of indiv identity o Outgroup homogeneity they are all the same Vs. our ingroup which we perceive as being unique o Those outgroup members who closely resemble ones belief of that group will more likely be perceived stereotypically than those with fewer stereotyped characteristics Ex. Blair 2004 study: Harsher jail sentences for races with more African features (typical of Blacks) o Ingroup Bias or Favouritism we are the best, we are also very diverse, not like the outgroup who are all the same o We greatly simplify our social environ by categorizing others in that way and enhance our self-concept (non-homo) o Some researchers: In favouring ingroups- we also tend to put downattribute neg charac to outgroups However, research on this is not supported
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