Psychology of Prejudice
Houston suburb opposes plan for mosque neighbour threatens to hold pig
Dec 7, 2006: KATY, Texas (AP) - A plan to build a mosque in this Houston
suburb has triggered a neighbourhood dispute, with community members
warning the place will become a terrorist hotbed and one man threatening
to hold pig races on Fridays just to offend the Muslims.
Many neighbourhood residents claim they have nothing against Muslims
and are more concerned about property values, drainage and traffic.
When is something prejudice?
What was said? How was it said? Legitimate generalization?
Meant to harm?
Does the person truly believe what he/she said?
Power between parties
-The video (David Chappelle) seems prejudice because (bc) they bring out the
-It is not harm since it is a comedy.
-Not quiet bc he is only making fun of them in the show.
-You (u) can see power between parties but yet a comedy only bringing to light the
possible stereotypes we hear and see among people (ppl).
Defining our terms
Stereotype: A set of attributes & traits associated with a group of people
Prejudice: Biased evaluation of a group based on the traits associated with
that group. Discrimination: Negative behaviour towards someone based on their group
-Stereotype: True or false about the generalization of a certain social group. Traits
ascribed to a group. Stereotype is not always negative. It is schematic and
cognitive. It has some type of In-group and out-group distinction.
-Prejudice: Affect (some kind of emotional flavor) of a social group. It can be
implicit or explicit (aware or not aware of it). It can be an attitude (like or dislike).
It is a thought u have about someone. It has some type of In-group and out-group.
-Discrimination: Unfair acts towards a social category. We see negative behaviors
towards some group. It is hard to hide action. Acting in a bias (unfair can be
negative or positive) way.
A little history…
Stereotypes as abnormal vs. Stereotypes as normal psychological process
Explicit prejudice vs. Implicit prejudice
Perceiver’s perspective vs. Target’s perspective
Intergroup conflict vs. Intergroup harmony
-It can seem abnormal to some ppl. Stereotype is form of categorization. It is
known to be cognitive.
- About 50 years ago ppl started to have harder time admitting to not liking ppl. Bc
it is taboo now to be prejudice. It is no longer spoken about openly. Some ppl are
(r) sometime explicit and sometime implicit. –The perceiver’s perspective and
target’s perspective is different. Some ppl justify what they know and see the
world as they do in the mind.
-Our in-group is always seem positive for us but looking at those who is not part of
our group (out-group) are different and r not unique as us. PSYC12H3S
Origins of Stereotypes
Video: Discrimination is seen here when buying a new car. The factor to make a
study one must control the behavior of the experiment. The candidates must dress
the same, be around the same age and go to the same dealership and must look at
the same car and model of the car. U would clone ppl by gender and such to test
the hypothesis. Having multiple ppl in each category to make most of the study.
Ayres & Seigelman (1995)
In this study we can see white males r offered less price on a car in comparison to
the black males. As for females; white females r offered less pricing for a car than
Discrimination when buying a new car
Why would salespeople? :
1. Ask more money from women?
-Maybe there is a stereotype that women do not know about cars and convinced
-Women agreeable then men.
2. Ask more money from blacks?
-Association race and education.
-More white males r in that business.
-Symbolic self-completion as in takes advantage of black men.
Movie Time! True Color
1. Why does this discrimination exists:
-Might be fear.
2. Why does stereotype exists:
-Because of the behavior of the type of ppl n an environment.
Why categorize? Infinite number of stimuli in environment
Limited capacity cognitive system
Essential part of learning
-Our mind is set in a way that categorize things we perceive. If we don't categorize
objects and not put label we will end up seeing new things. Therefore once u learn
something u keeps it in ur head and categorize it in such a way to prevent yourself
(urself) from being overwhelmed.
-In this study we see the Jews figure. U learn what and who they r and when u see
them another time u know who they r.
-We don’t just perceive table we see objects and shapes and then we know what to
do with them. The problem we over generalize when we categorize.
-We get rid of stereotyping we get rid of learning. Bc we associate things based on
what we learn or see.
-This study is of group of ppl and discusses the play they seen together. After the
study they were given questionnaire and were asked who said what. The ppl did a
lot of mistakes and so therefore they
associated what they think who said what in to different category. They have used
categorizing and short-cut based on what they knew and answered the
Categorization & Stereotypes
Stereotypes are traits associated with category
Can be useful in making predictions
Are based on a “kernel of truth”
Are fast & efficient
But, they are also over-generalizations; especially when applied to an individual
1. Stereotypes are traits associated with category:
-We tend to socially categorize ppl and put them into positive and negative or
neutral categories. This can be useful in making predictions. Example if u need an
answer on religion you will (ull) approach someone who is religious based on what
u see them as. The problem about stereotyping is when we over generalize
especially when it comes to an individual.
Categorize world into in-groups & out-groups In-group: Groups to which we belong
Out-group: Groups to which we do not belong
This simplifies social world Us vs. Them
-We divide the world into groups: me and not me group which is in-group and out-
group respectively. Some groups known to be permeable and can change from one
group to another.
Categorizing accentuates inter-group differences
Tend to think positively of in-group, IG bias
Even minimal groups—camp!
Tend to think of out-groups as all the same, OG homogeneity
1. Categorizing accentuates inter-group difference
-Problematic bc of their extreme distance they create to one another.
-When u dehumanize a group is easier to treat them poorly.
-We r positive about our in-group and negative towards out-group. We do this bc
we feel our group is an extension of us.
-We tend to think ppl belong to our group share uniqueness and the other groups
are different and don't have any uniqueness to them.
Origin of Stereotypes: Environmental
Is the Media accurately portraying reality?
Or, are they creating stereotypes?
1. Both are innocent victims of Toronto gunplay
-Jane Creba is well known to many but not Chantel Dunn. Both victims were in the
parking lot caught by a gunfight. However Chantel didn't make the front-page
news. The news that was received had to do with their race. Jane is white and
Chantel is black.
-The media is bias in what they say. The way we can answer this question is what
makes the news and what does not.
Romer, Jamieson & deCoteau (1998)
African-American are heavily presented in News stories about crime
TV News cannot report all criminals or victims; selectively samples
Does the news emphasize one group vs. another for crime? How often are AA seen as perpetrators? Victims?
-Question of the study: does the media gives accurate or bias news? The news
networks cannot tell us everything about each news. The choice has to be made.
Now the question is does the media intentionally create stereotypes or biases
among the ppl?
-Romer and colleagues analyzed the news in three different stations for 3 months.
The results show that victim and prey tend to be the same race, example white
against white and black against black.
Results of the Study
Analyzed 11:00 pm newscast on 3 stations in Philadelphia for 3 months
Perpetrators & victims tend to be of the same race
10% Black on White vs. 18% White on Black
Whites twice as likely to be seen as victim than perpetrator
AA are actually victims 80%, but only shown 22% vs. 24% for White victims
When perpetrator was Black, victim shown as White 42% vs. 10% in
White victims are more “newsworthy” than Black victims
White victims of Black perpetrators are especially “newsworthy”
e.g. Janie Creba vs. Chantel Dunn
Crime portrayals bias our perceptions and amplify stereotypes
-Whites r more victims then black.
-White victims’ r more "newsworthy" than black victims.
-Crime portrays our perception of reality and more likely the opposite of victims
race tend to be the obvious.
Most 3 and 4 year olds are aware of race and show clear race preference
How do children learn prejudice?
Being directly taught by parents?
Most results are inconclusive (e.g. Aboud, 1998)
Are we missing something? -How children learn is taken from their parents since they r young.
-Or they can be the observers of their parents’ behavior and learn from it.
-If u look at the results of the study we can see that the accusation of parents and
children attitudes are towards 0, therefore suggesting that they r very much alike.
Sinclair, Dunn & Lowery (2005)
Parents will only influence children when children identify with the parent.
80 parent-child pairs completed:
Pro-White/Anti-Black prejudice scale
Children completed parent identification scale
Preliminary results: No correlation between Parent & Child, r= -.11
-Study done by Sinclair and colleagues are based on children who want to be like
their parents bc they identify with them very much.
-If u think that ur parents r not right in certain things, then u will not be like them
therefore u will be completely opposite of them, that’s what the study shows.
-The graph shows that when parents r low in prejudice the children r high and vice
Motivation to maintain positive social identity
Justification of status quo
Allows people to maintain positive self-views
-We want to be feeling good about ourselves and want our group to be the highest
in the chain in a triangle. Therefore u r motivated to put ppl below u and u go
higher in social settings.
-We tend to blame those who r below us and we feel those who r higher r
deserving ppl. Therefore makes u feel good about urself and everything seems fair
and just to u.
Reflects specific cultural values
Result from conformity Reflect social roles groups play
-Stereotype r very social cultural specific.
-Some cultural r less tolerant of prejudice and some r more tolerant.
-Ppl tend to conform to their culture and believe n accept it and see it right.
-The roles ppl play to some extend more than what their ppl r actually like. We
have an example in Toronto were we think of taxi driver as being crazy drivers.
Now if we were to generalize; a lot of taxi driver r Sikhs therefore we categorize
them as crazy taxi drivers. Therefore the role we play reflects or adds to the
stereotype we carry.
1. Why do we categorize ppl and things?
-To create order out of the stimuli in the environment.
2. Who is Chantel Dunn?
-Innocent victim of Toronto gunplay. PSYC12H3S Lecture 3
Maintenance of Stereotypes
-The same things that keep stereotypes going could be the reason for its origin.
-Cognitive: Saves energy, save our mind; mental shortcut. Conitive can help us to
-Perceptual & behavioral: We don't see the world as it is but we see it as we r
therefore stereotypes can be seen by the way we see things.
-Motivational: Stereotypes feels good therefore makes us feel good about ourself.
-Video: Is about Hannah who had to be viewed as black man when she was
convicted, therefore representation of bias.
Racists for Obama
-Article of blog got a lot of media attention. One racist person voted for Obama;
how is that possible?
Re-fence stereotype-disconfirming individuals
Allows for maintenance of stereotypes & prejudice
Allows people to feel non-prejudiced
-Don Sheri, supporter of hockey and known to be a racist towards European
players and Canadian players from the French side. He is known also to be a
nationalist. He says I am not racist but yet says racist things towards groups. He
claims that he has friends who r black and French. He claims he has friends.
-Prince: Reminder of a movie about a scene where the pizza shop owner lives in
black neighborhood but yet shows cues of being racist. He likes black actors and
musicians how is that possible? The reason being is bc he sees that actors and
musicians r different from regular blacks. He therefore categorize the blacks in his
mind and disconfirming ppl even though they r of the same race.
Macrae, Mine & Bodengausen (1994)
Humans have developed cognitive “tools” allowing us to analyze social
environment efficiently. Stereotypes are one of these “tools:”
They allow us to forego effortful individuation
They make useful predictions
When taxed, people use stereotypes
Are stereotypes energy-saving devices?
1. To be able to get through the environment, we use physical and mental tools.
Therefore stereotype is a mental tool to make our life easier and help us get
2. Stereotype allow us to make prediction what and when to expect.
-When ppl are busy and rushed ppl use stereotypes as a mental shortcut.
Participants performed two tasks simultaneously
Task 1—Impression formation:
Name followed by 10 trait terms
Half given a stereotypic label (e.g. doctor, artist, skinhead). Half given no
Half of the traits were stereotypic, half neutral
Task 2—Information Monitoring
Ps heard a 2 minute passage on Indonesia
DV: Recall of traits with appropriate targets; performance on multiple-
choice test on passage.
-What was measured the ppl could remember who had the right treat.
-They then were given a multiplication of the video and they found next (bottom).
• Results confirmed predictions:
− Stereotypes improved recall
− For stereotypic and neutral items
− Improved MC performance
-The participants remembered the traits with the stereotypes and remembered the
neutral traits as well. They preformed better in MC on the passage they have heard.
The bottom line is stereotype help ppl to save cognitive resources. They were also
able to focus on other things such as names.
Who is this? The world appears not so much as it is, but as we are.
-He is a number of things he can be like old, wise, grumpy and such. Therefore the
world appear not so much as it is but what we r.
Burner & Goodman (1947)
-Study one: They had children estimate several disks by size and color. Then
pennies were used. Despite these disks being the same size they found that ppl r
more accurate when disks were presented but when coins were presented they saw
the size of the coins bigger. Therefore ppl put value on these objects that’s why
they see it bigger. The kind of ideas we see in our heads can physically change
what we actually see.
-Study two: kids who r 10 yrs old looking at coins and asked about their size. They
break down was rich kids with poor kids. If money is important in ur life u see the
Stereotypes bias information in confirmatory manner
Confirming info more fully processed
Ambiguous info seen as stereotype confirming
-If what one encounters is consistent with what he/she believes then most likely
they will be more consistent.
-They may also see ambiguous things consistent with what they believe in.
Prejudiced White saw anger (stereotyped behavior) appear more quickly on
the face of Blacks
Stereotypes can affect on-line perception
-Prejudice can actually change in the way we see facial expression? Yes
-The faces in the study of Hugenberg & Bodenhausen (2003) animation: A black
face and lighter face: The faces slowly becomes angry... progression of emotions.
In the study they asked the participants to press the button when the face changes,
and they showed one face at a time. Those who r high in prejudice, saw the black
face get angrier faster than the lighter face even though they r exactly the same.
- The result of the study suggests that we cannot trust our own sense bc of the thoughts in our head.
Can the way we act towards out-groups create the very behavior we expect?
-Self-fulfilling prophecies r like confirmation bias. These two makes us see the
world the way we want to see it. Confirmation bias is more a perceptual one; a
thought in my head and see the world according to that thought. Self-fulfilling is
more I have a thought in my head and behave a certain way, I lead to behave in
others then confirms the thought in my head. Is a bit a further loop not direct unlike
Word, Zanna & Cooper (1974)
Can one person’s attitudes and expectations induce another person to act in
a way that confirms his/her expectations?
Pygmalion in the Classroom (Rosenthal, 1971)
Can Whites’ anti-black prejudice create a Self-Fulfilling
Prophecy in a job interview setting?
How would this be mediated?
-The study is based on how does teacher’s expectation of their student influence
-The experts went to real live classroom and gave the young children IQ tests.
They told the teachers that these students with high IQ are going to be worthy. The
IQ test is not real by the way (btw). Then at the end of the year, they found out that
those students who were expected to do better did get all the attention from the
teachers and therefore succeeded.
-Study one: They told white ppl in a job site to be an interviewer. The candidates
were black and white, which were actors brought by the experimenter. White vs
black; white interviewer acted differently when interviewee was not of same color.
They sat further away from the black candidate; less eye contact and speech
fluency and interview were shorter with black candidates.
-Study two: Switch roles: the candidates r white and was an interviewer (actors).
They were told to treat the white person (interviewee) like blacks; the study found
that those whites performed worse bc of the way the interviewer acted. Therefore
confirms their stereotypes judgments.
Maintenance Of Stereotypes: Motivational Prejudice as Self-Image Maintenance:
People are motivated to have and maintain self-esteem; they want to feel
good about self
When threatened, people motivated to restore self-esteem
By acting on prejudices, people can reclaim self-esteem
Looking “down” at someone else, makes you look good in
Fein & Spencer, 1997Prejudice make you feel good!
1. All of us motivated about feeling better ourselves.
2. But when ppl r threatened they try to make themselves feel better by comparing
to someone worse than us.
3. Prejudice we do exactly that we see ppl less than us.
4. Study of Fein & Spencer: They gave ppl tests and told them they did very badly
on the test. Then they showed picture of lesser ppl and therefore those who done
bad on the test started to feel better about themselves, bc they saw they r better.
Want to maintain status quo
Afraid of standing-up