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PSYC12 midterm chapter notes.docx.pdf

Course Code
Michael Inzlicht
Study Guide

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Chapter 1:
Introduction to the Study of Prejudice and Stereotyping
Ingroups: group members tend to favor their own group, and form closer ties
Outgroups: group members tend to be suspicious and rejecting of members of other groups, even
when membership is based on the most arbitrary criteria
§Ex. randomly assigning people to group A or to group B, an example of a minimal group.
Prejudice: preference for own group forms the basis for negative feelings about other groups
Stereotypes: believing that certain characteristics are associated with other groups
§Prejudice and stereotypes form because the outgroup members are perceived to be antithetical
to the ingroup’s welfare or values.
§Some of the most intense intergroup hostility has been based on a difference in religious beliefs.
§Ex. Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland
§Stereotype is most commonly measured through standardized self-reports that assess the
endorsement of statements about the characteristics of a group, feelings about the group, and
behavior toward the group and its members
Defining Stereotyping
Lippman’s “Stereotype”
§To describe the tendency of people to think of someone or something in similar terms – that is,
as having similar attributes – based on a common feature shared by each.
§Because we all have “pictures in our heads” of the outside world and that these representations
are more like templates into which we try to simplify the information we receive from the
world, such as what is important to perceive and disregard in our environment.
§This process tends to confirm preexisting stereotypes by paying attention to stereotype-
consistent information and disregarding information that is inconsistent with our
The Social-Cognitive Definition
§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: defined stereotyping as “a generalization made about a … group concerning a trait
attribution, which is considered to be unjustified by an observer”
§Problem with the last half of this definition is, a stereotype is any generalization about
a group whether an observer (either a member of the stereotyped group or another
observer) believes it is justified or not.
§Hamilton and Trolier: “a cognitive structure that contains the perceiver’s knowledge, beliefs,
and expectations about a human group”
§This definition is also too broad, “one’s knowledge and expectations” about the group.
This makes it too broad and inconsistent with traditional definitions of a stereotype.

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§This definition is more like a schema, which is “a cognitive structure that represents
knowledge about a concept or type of stimulus, including its attributes and the relations
among those attributes.”
§Stereotypes are 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”
§More specific, and consistent with past definitions.
Cultural and Individual Stereotypes
§Cultural stereotype: describes “shared or community-wide patterns of beliefs”
§Individual stereotype: describes the beliefs held by an individual about the characteristics of a
§Any measure of stereotype content in which the respondent’s answers are restricted to the
stereotype content choices offered by the measure tends to provide an inaccurate measure of the
person’s stereotype of the group
§This is important because one’s cultural stereotype about a group may not be the same
as one’s individual stereotype about the group.
§The question is, which of these two, cultural or individual stereotypes, tends to predict future
behavior and attitudes toward a given group?
§Contemporary researchers tend to be interested primarily in assessing individual
stereotypes because many experiments have demonstrated that these are most directly
related to that person’s specific thoughts, feelings, and behavior toward the group.
Is a Stereotype an Attitude?
§An attitude is a general evaluation of some object. Any attitude is usually viewed as falling
somewhere on a good-bad, or favorable-unfavorable dimension.
§Although a stereotype is not an attitude, an intergroup attitude is composed of one’s
thoughts or beliefs about, feelings toward, and behavior toward a particular group.
§Researchers have traditionally viewed attitudes as comprising three components: an affective
component, a behavioral component, and a cognitive component.
§Stereotypes represent only the cognitive portion of any intergroup attitude.
§The other two components of an intergroup attitude, affect and behavior, correspond to
prejudice and discrimination, respectively.
§Discrimination: defined as any negative behavior directed toward an individual based
on their membership in a group.
Positive versus Negative Stereotypes
§They are merely generalizations about a group
§Positive stereotypes like, Asians being good at maths and sciences
§People resent being positively stereotyped too
Defining Prejudice
§The word prejudice, indicates a pre-judgment about something
§Prejudice can suggest an evaluation, either positive or negative, toward a stimulus
§Another specific definition of prejudice is, in which the individual has a negative evaluation of
another stimulus.

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Prejudice as Negative Affect
§Allport defined prejudice as “an antipathy based upon a faulty and inflexible generalization. It
may be felt expressed. It may be directed toward a group as a whole, or toward an individual
because he is a member of that group.”
Prejudice as an Attitude
§Prejudice is essentially an attitude. Thus, there are affective, behavioral, cognitive components.
§Affective: anger [common upon which prejudice is based]
§Behavioral: avoidant or hostile
§Cognitive: beliefs linking hostility to the outgroup
§One problem with earlier definitions concerns the focus on the negative affect toward the
outgroup. This unnecessarily limits the definition of prejudice, because prejudice can also refer
to positive prejudice in favor of one’s ingroup (ingroup favoritism)
§Stangor, Sullivan and Ford found that the best predictor of negative outgroup prejudice is not
negative feelings about the outgroup, but rather, a lack of positive emotions.
§Some suggest that:
§Stronger, more obvious forms of prejudice are more likely to be based on strong
negative emotions
§More subtle types of prejudice may be based on an absence of positive feelings
about the outgroup
§Jackson, Hodge, Gerard, Ingram, Ervin, and Sheppard, assessed the affect, behaviors, and
cognitions of 869 white college students toward various minority groups.
§They found that affect and behavior were the strongest predictors of group attitudes.
§The authors suggest that the quality of an intergroup interaction thus is most dependent
on “how good people feel, not how well they think of group members”
§Eagly and Diekman, suggests that prejudice should be regarded as an “attitude-in-context”
§According to this model, prejudice is not inflexible, rather, it depends on the match (or
lack thereof) between the social role into which the stereotyped individual is trying to fit
and the beliefs of the perceiver about the attributes that are required for success in that
§If the role is highly valued, the prototypical member (ex. Caucasian) in that role
will tend to be viewed only slightly more positively than a role-incongruent (ex.
African American) individual in that position.
§They argue that prejudice is most likely to be displayed toward a disadvantaged group
when that group tries to move into roles for which they are believed by the majority
group to be unqualified
§Critics of the prejudice-as-attitude approach say:
§First, an attitude (or evaluation) is not the same as affect. If prejudice is an affect-based
reaction to a stimulus group, then it cannot be the case that an evaluation of the group is
the same thing as prejudice
§Second, Devine asserts that the notion that prejudice has an affective, behavioral,
cognitive component is problematic because research shows that the three components
are not consistent.
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