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Social Psych Final Exam Notes.doc

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PSYC 2120
Jennifer Steele

Social Psych Final Exam Notes Chapter 11 – Sources of Prejudice The Nature and Power of Prejudice How is prejudice distinct from stereotyping, discrimination, racism, and sexism? What is Prejudice? • Prejudice – a negative prejudgment of a group and its individual members • Can include positive prejudgments, usually refers to negative tendencies • Prejudice is an attitude, a combination of feelings, inclinations to act, and beliefs • ABCs – Affect (feelings), behaviour (inclination to act) and cognition (beliefs) • Stereotype – a belief about the personal attributes of a group of people • Stereotypes can be over generalized, inaccurate, and resistant to new information • Simply put, to stereotype is to generalize • Discrimination – unjustifiable negative behaviour toward a group or its members • Discrimination’s source is usually prejudicial attitudes Prejudice: Overt, Subtle, and Automatic • Overt expression of prejudice has decreased over the years, subtle forms of prejudice are still widespread Subtle forms of prejudice • Modern racism or cultural racism • Appears subtly, in our preferences for what is familiar, similar, and comfortable Automatic prejudice • Prejudice provides one of the best examples for our dual attitude system • Differing explicit and implicit attitudes toward the same target • Measured with IAT • May retain from childhood a habitual, automatic fear or dislike of people for whom we now express respect and admiration • Explicit attitudes may change dramatically with education, implicit attitudes may ling, changing only as we form new habits through practice Social Sources of Prejudice Social Inequalities: Justifying the Status Quo • Unequal status breeds prejudice • Social dominance orientation – a motivation to have your own group be dominant over other social groups • Those high in social dominance orientation tend to view people in terms of hierarchies, and they like to be on top of the hierarchy • Status is important 1 Socialization • Children’s automatic racial attitudes reflect their parents’ explicit prejudice The authoritarian personality • Ethnocentric – believing in the superiority of your own ethnic and cultural group, and having a corresponding disdain for all other groups • Ethnocentric people shared authoritarian tendencies – intolerance for weakness, a punitive attitude, and a submissive respect for their in-group’s authorities • Authoritarian, as well as high social dominance orientation, lead to increase of prejudice Religion and prejudice • People justify prejudice by believing God has ordained the existing social order • Church members express more racial prejudice than non-members • Those professing traditional or fundamentalist Christian beliefs express more prejudice than those professing less traditional beliefs • Correlation, may not be a connection • Some show that religious commitment produces less prejudice Conformity • If prejudice is socially accepted many people will follow the path of least resistance and conform • Act not out of a need to hate, but a need to be liked and accepted Institutional Supports • Social institutions (schools, government, the media) reinforce dominant cultural attitudes • Children’s books portray specific gender roles Motivational Sources of Prejudice Frustration and Aggression: The Scapegoat Theory • Pain and frustration often evoke hostility • When the cause of our frustration is intimidating or vague, we often redirect our hostility • Ethnic peace is easier to maintain during prosperous times • Realistic group conflict theory – the theory that prejudice arises from competition between groups for scarce resources Social Identity Theory: Feeling Superior to Others • We categorize: we find it useful to put people, ourselves included, into categories. To label someone is a shorthand way of saying some other things about the person 2 • We identify: We associate ourselves with certain groups (our in-groups) and gain self-esteem by doing so • We compare: We contrast our groups with other groups (out-groups), with a favourable bias toward our own groups • Having a sense of “we-ness” strengthens our self-concept • Personal identity and social identity together feed self esteem In-group bias • In-group bias – the tendency to favour your own group • The circle that includes us excludes them • Giving money example, if you can only divide $15 between exact dollars you will give more money to people in you associate with • When our groups are successful, we can also make ourselves feel better by identifying more strongly with it • Positive feelings for our own groups are not necessarily mirrored by equally strong negative feelings for out-groups Need for status, self-regard, and belonging • Status is relative • To perceive ourselves as having status, we need people below us • One psychological benefit of prejudice, or of any status system, is a feeling of superiority • Prejudice is often greater among those low or slipping on the socioeconomic ladder and among those whose positive self image is being threatened • Possible that people whose status is secure have less need to feel superior • Threaten someone’s self-esteem and they will restore it by denigrating an outgroup Motivation to See the World as Just • Merely observing another innocent person being victimized is enough to make the victim seem less worthy • Human need to believe that it is a just world, a world where people get what they deserve • Just-world phenomenon – the tendency of people to believe that the world is just, and that, therefore people get what they deserve and deserve what they get • Leads people to ignore injustice Motivation to Avoid Prejudice • Motivations not only lead people to be prejudice, but they also lead people to avoid prejudice • Although most of us don’t want to be prejudiced, a prejudice habit lingers • People low and high in prejudice sometimes have similar automatic prejudicial responses 3 • Hard to inhibit unwanted thoughts Cognitive Sources of Prejudice Categorization: Classifying People into Groups • Prejudice can arise from heuristics, simplifying and making sense of the world • Categorize and organize the world by clustering objects into groups • Stereotypes represent cognitive efficiency • They are energy-saving schemes for making speedy judgments and predicting how others will think and act Spontaneous categorization • Easy and efficient to rely on stereotypes when pressed for time, preoccupied, tired, emotionally aroused, too young to appreciate diversity Perceived similarities and differences • Out-group homogeneity effect – perception of out-group members as more similar to one another than are in-group members • They are alike, we are diverse • The greater our familiarity with a social group, the more we see its diversity. The less our familiarity, the more we stereotype • The smaller and less powerful the group, the more we stereotype • Own-race bias – the tendency for people to more accurately recognize faces of their own race • Easier to recognize faces of your own race Distinctiveness: Perceiving People Who Stand Out • Distinctive people and vivid or extreme occurrences often capture attention and distort judgments Distinctive people • A black in an otherwise white group, a man in an otherwise female group – these individuals seem to have exaggerated good and bad qualities • People define you by your most distinctive features • People take note of those who violate expectations • More attention is given to distinctive people • A distinctive individual, such as a lone minority person, has a compelling quality that makes us aware of differences that would otherwise go unnoticed Distinctive cases • Our minds also use distinctive cases as a shortcut to judging groups 4 • Given limited experience with a particular social group, we recall examples of it and generalize from those • Can prime stereotypes • Vivid instances, though more available in memory, are rarely representative of the larger group Distinctive events • Stereotypes assume a correlation between group membership and individuals’ characteristics • The occurrence of two distinctive events helps create an illusory correlation between people and behaviour Attributions: Discounting Important Situational Forces • We attribute others behaviour so much to their inner dispositions that we discount important situational forces Group-serving bias • Attributing others’ behaviour to their dispositions can lead to the group-serving bias • Assigning out-group members’ negative behaviour to their natural character while explaining away their positive behaviours Chapter 12 – Consequences of Prejudice Prejudice Based on Race and Gender Discrimination without awareness • Discrimination that results from prejudice about which people are unaware may lead to discrimination about which they are unaware • People may genuinely believe they are acting in an egalitarian fashion, but their behaviour may be discriminatory in reality Prejudice Based on Gender Gender stereotypes • Increase in women in the workforce • Strong gender stereotypes exist, but members of those stereotyped groups accept the stereotypes • Gender discrimination still found in Canada and to a greater degree around the world • Blatant gender prejudice is dying, but subtle bias lives Consequences of Prejudice for Those Who Face It Stereotypes can create their own reality. Even if they are initially untrue, their existence can make them become true 5 Self-Perpetuating Stereotypes • Prejudice is prejudgment, and prejudgments are inevitable • Prejudgments are self-perpetuating • Whenever a member of a group behaves as expected, we duly note it • If someone behaves contrary to our expectations, we may say its due to special circumstances • Hard to overcome opinions • Subtyping – accommodating groups of individuals who deviate from one’s stereotype by thinking of them as a special category of people with different properties o Ex. British school children liked their school police officers, but generally didn’t like police officers. The school police officers were a special group • Subgrouping – accommodating groups of individuals who deviate from ones stereotype by forming a new stereotype about this subset of the group o Recognize that the stereotype does not apply to everybody • Subtypes are exceptions to the groups, subgroups are acknowledged as a part of the overall group but have different stereotypes Impact of Discrimination: The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy • Attitudes may coincide with the social hierarchy not only as a rationalization for it but also because discrimination affects its victims Distinctiveness and self-consciousness • Feeling distinctive leads people to feel self-conscious • When surrounded by whites, blacks sometimes detect people reacting to their distinctiveness • Self-conscious interactions between a majority and a minority person can feel tense even when both are well intentioned Stigma consciousness • People vary in stigma consciousness – in how likely they are to expect that others will stereotype them Stereotype Threat • Stereotype threat – a disruptive concern, when facing a negative stereotype, that one will be evaluated based on a negative stereotype • A self-confirming apprehension • Immediate effects • Short old man playing basketball with bigger younger players • Women told there were gender differences on a difficult math test felt more frustrated when taking the test, felt more apprehension which undermined their performances 6 • Women who were primed with commercials showing air-headed women performed worse on a math test, and reported less interest in obtaining a math or science major or career • If you tell students they are at risk of failure, the stereotype may erode their performance • May cause them to disidentify with school and seek self-esteem else-where • Stereotype threat can lead to performance deficits and disidentifcation with stereotyped domain (i.e. school) Stereotypes and Personal Judgment • People often evaluate individuals more positively than the groups they compose • Stereotypes may have minimal, if any, impact on judgments about that person Impact of strong stereotypes • Strong and seemingly relevant stereotypes do colour our judgments of individuals as well as groups Bias in interpretations and memories • Stereotypes also colour how we interpret events Reactions to Prejudice and Stereotyping • Reactions to experiencing prejudice and discrimination are varied • Blaming poor performance on prejudice can be a way to protect self-esteem • People are reluctant to acknowledge that they individually experience prejudice. Targets of prejudice are often vigilant to the possibility of being discriminated against but also are motivated to deny that such discrimination actually occurs Chapter 9 – Aggression: Hurting Others What Is Aggression? • Aggression – physical or verbal behaviour intended to hurt someone • Excludes unintentional harm • Animals exhibit social aggression characterized by displays of rage, and silent aggression, as when a predator stalks its pretty • Involve separate brain regions • Hostile aggression – aggression driven by anger and performed as an end in itself • Instrumental aggression – aggression that is a means to some other end • Most terrorism is instrumental aggression What Are Some Theories of Aggression? Aggression as a Biological Phenomenon Instinct theory and evolutionary psychology 7 • Instinctive behaviour – an innate, unlearned behaviour pattern exhibited by all members of a species • If not discharged, it supposedly builds up until it explodes or until an appropriate stimulus release it • Instinct theory fails to account for the variation in aggressiveness, from person to person and culture to culture Neural influences • No one spot in the brain controls it, complex behaviour • Aggressiveness increases activity in some brain regions • Abnormal brains can contribute to abnormally aggressive behaviour Genetic influences • Heredity influences the neural system’s sensitivity to aggressive cues • Animals of many species can be bred for aggressiveness Biochemical influences • Blood chemistry also influences neural sensitivity to aggressive stimulation • Alcohol o Alcohol unleashes aggression when people are provoked o Reduces peoples self awareness • Testosterone o Hormonal influences appear much stronger in lower animals than in humans, but human aggressiveness does correlate with testosterone • Low serotonin • Interaction between biology and behaviour, can go both ways Aggression as a Response
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