Characterizing intergroup bias
*Stereotypes: beliefs that certain attributes are characteristic of members of particular groups.
-way of categorizing people.
-involves thinking about a person not as an individual but as a member of a group, and
projecting what you know about the group onto your expectations about the individual.
Ex. American house, a German car, French food, British police, an Italian lover, and
everything run by the Swiss. stereotypes can be positive or negative, true or false.
*Prejudice: a negative attitude or affective response toward a certain group and its individual
-involves prejudging others because they belong to a specific category.
*Discrimination: unfair treatment of members of a particular group based on their
membership in that group.
-involves unfair treatment of others – treatment based not on their character or abilities but on
their membership in a group.
-stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination refer to the belief, attitudinal, and behavioral
components of negative intergroup relations
-components of intergroup bias need not all occur together.
Ex.1. A person can discriminate without prejudice (Jewish parents say they don‟t want their
children to marry outside the faith, not because they have a low opinion of other groups, but
because they are concerned about future of Judaism.)
Ex.2. A person can be prejudiced and not discriminate (culture frowns on discrimination.
Civil rights laws in the U.S. are specifically desined to uncouple prejudiced attitudes and
-Modern Racism: prejudice directed at other racial groups that exists alongside rejection of
explicitly racist beliefs (genetic differences between racial groups in intelligence)
Ex. 1. participants were in a position to aid a white or black individual in need of medical
assistance. if they thought they were the only one who could help, they came to the aid of the black
when they thought that other people were present and their inaction could be justified on
nonracial grounds, they helped the black victim much less.
-in this situation, the prejudice or discrimination is “masked” and the individual remains
comfortably unaware of being racist.
Ex. 2. White participants evaluated black and white applicants to college. When the
applicants excelled on certain dimensions and were below average on others, the ratings of
prejudiced and unprejudiced participants diverged
prejudiced participants rated the black applicants less favorably than did the unprejudiced
prejudiced participants‟ discriminatory responses could be defended as nondiscriminatory
by claiming that the dimensions on which the black applicants fell short were more important
than those on which they excelled.
-however, when the desire to appear unprejudiced is sufficiently strong, the opposite result is
Benevolent Racism and Sexism
-many of our “ism” (racism, sexism, ageism) are ambivalent. Contains both negative and
-someone might believe that women are less competent and intelligent than men, and at the
same time believe women are warmer and have better social skills.
Ex. Benevolent sexism (ideology that offers protection and affection to women who embrace
conventional roles) often coexists with hostile sexism(dislike of women who are viewed as
usurping men‟s power).
Those who hold ambivalent attitudes tend to act positively toward members of outgroups
only if they fulfill their idealized image of what such people should be like. Those who
deviate tend to be treated with hostility.
Measuring attitudes about groups
-so many forms of prejudice are ambivalent, uncertain, or hidden, even from the self, they are
not likely to be revealed through self-report.
-psychologists have developed some widely used indirect measures
1. The ImplicitAssociation Test (Anthony greenwald and Mazarin Banaji)
-It is a technique for revealing nonconscious prejudices toward particular groups -a series of words are presented on a computer screen, and the respondent is told to press key
with left finger if it is either a female name or a weak word, and press with right finger if it is
either a male name or a strong word
-same process but in this case participants are first asked to press one key for both positive
words and either photos or the names of people. (faster to press the appropriate key when the
same key is used for old faces and negative words, and slower when the same key is used for
old faces and positive words.) nonconscious prejudice toward old people was captured by
the difference between the average time it takes to respond to old faes/positive words and the
average time it takes to respond to old faces/negative words
2. Priming and Implicit Prejudice
-Priming: a procedure used to increase the accessibility of a concept or schema ( for example,
-show you the word butter and ask you to tell me as quickly as you can the word you
recognize which is bread
-priming have shown that people often have subtle prejudices against various target groups
that they would steadfastly deny having.
The Economic Perspective
-groups develop prejudices about one another and discriminate against one another when they
compete for material resources.
-ex. Immigrants from Mexico and central America face harshest discrimination from U.S.
citizens who see them as treats to their own jobs.
Realistic group conflict theory
-Realistic group conflict theory: a theory that group conflict, prejudice, and discrimination are
likely to arise over competition between groups for limited resources
Ex. People in the working class in the U.S. exhibited the most anti-black prejudice in the
wake of the civil rights movement. Working class jobs were most at risk once millions of
black Americans were allowed to compete more freely for entry-level manufacturing jobs in
-Ethnocentrism: glorifying one‟s own group while vilifying other groups.
Ex. 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, different racial groups in the U.S. seemed to pull
together more than they had beforehand. Telling white students that the attacks were directed
at all Americans, regardless of race and class, served to reduce prejudice toward African-
Americans. The Robbers Cave Experiment
-Scientists sent 2 groups of 11 and 12 year-old boys to live in separate sections of an Eastern
1. Competition and Intergroup Conflict
First phase: Each group named themselves: Rattlers and Eagles. A consistent hierarchical
structure emerged within each group, independently engaged in activities designed to foster
Second Phase: Groups were brought together for a tournament and the winning team would
receive a medal and a highly coveted pocket knife. The tournament was designed to
encourage each group to see the other as an impediment to the fulfillment of its own goals.
The two groups hurled insults at each other; the Eagles captured and burned the Rattlers‟flag,
food fights, and physical fights.
Internal dynamics of the two groups changed as they became locked into competitive
struggle. Either athletically gifted or more aggressive stance toward the other group gain
popularity. Revealed clear ingroup favoritism: each group estimated that boys in their group
had collected more beans than boys in the other group.
2. Reducing Intergroup Conflict through Superordinate Goals
Final Phase (assessing ways to reduce the conflict between the two groups): 2 groups were
brought together in various noncompetitive settings, but simple contact between the 2 groups
led to more insults, and food fights. So, investigators contrived to confront the boys with a
number of crises that could be resolved only through the cooperative efforts of both groups
(ex. Water supply to the camp was disrupted, and made a task much more manageable if all
the boys in both groups were assigned to inspect a given segment of the line. Also, truck
carrying supplies for a campout at a distant area broke down.With the rope that investigators
have left, they intermingled throughout the length of rope and pulled it together.)
Superordinate goals: goals that transcend the interests of any one group and that can be
achieved more readily by two or more groups working together.
Friendships between members of the 2 groups developed, and when the study was completed,
the boys insisted that everyone get on the same bus rather than on the separate bus.
The Robbers Cave Experiment offers important lessons: 1. Neither differences in
background nor differences in appearance nor prior histories of conflict are necessary for
intergroup hostility to develop. 2. Competition against “outsiders” often increases group
cohesion. 3. How intergroup conflict can be diminished by getting them to work together to
fulfill common goals.
Evaluating the Economic Perspective -Different ethnic and religious groups in the military are in the equivalent of phase 3 of the
Robbers Cave experiment. Purpose is to be ready to defend the U.S. against a common
-Students have had close and sustained contact with members of other ethnic groups.
Conditions of intergroup contact are not as favorable in the classroom as they are on the
battlefield. Students don‟t feel a strong cooperative bond with their classmates in general.
-The “Jigsaw” Classroom: students are divided into small groups and the material on a given
topic is then divided into 6 parts, and each student is required to master one part and teach it
to the others. they like school more and develop more positive attitudes toward different
The Motivational Perspective
-intergroup hostility can develop merely because another group exists. (the boys took their
group membership much more seriously.)
The minimal group paradigm
-Minimal group paradigm: an experimental paradigm in which researchers create groups
based on arbitrary and seemingly meaningless criteria and then examine how the members of
these “minimal groups” are inclined to behave toward one another
-first step: participants randomly divided into 2 groups.
-second step: participants can choose: 1. Maximize what the ingroup member can receive but
still result in more points for the members of the outgroup, 2. Some maximize the relative
ingroup advantage over the outgroup but don‟t provide much in the way of absolute reward
for members of the ingroup
majority are interested in more in maximizing the relative gain for members of their
ingroup than in maximizing the absolute gain for their ingroup. Tendency to favor their
minimal ingroup. Us vs. them distinction
Social Identity Theory
-once the us/them distinction is made, we are treated better than they.
-Social Identity Theory: a theory that a person‟s self-concept and self-esteem derive not only
from personal identity and accomplishments but also from the status and accomplishments of
the various groups to which the person belongs. Ex. Being “an American”, the pride associated with Bill of Rights, U.S. economic and
military clout, and accomplishments of American scientists, industrialists, athletes, and
entertainers. But also comes the shame associated with American slavery, and treatment of
1. Boosting the status of the ingroup
-our self-esteem is based in part on the status of the various groups to which we belong
-Ingroup Favoritism: feeling better about the group leads us to feel better about ourselves.
-people who take particularly strong pride in their group affiliations are more prone to
ingroup favoritism when placed in a minimal group situation.
2. Basking in Reflected Glory: the tendency for people to take pride in the
accomplishments of those with whom they are in some way associated, as when fans
identify with a winning team.
-ex. Sports fans chant, “We‟re number 1.” They want to be connected to the effort when the
outcome is a victory. But not after the loss
-ex. Students wore the school colors significantly more often following victory than after
defeat. “We” was used significantly more often after a win, and the more restrictive “they”
was used more often after a loss. triumphs and failings of the groups with which we
affiliate affect our self-esteem.
3. Derogating Outgroups to Bolster Self-Esteem
-stereotyping and derogating members of outgroups appear to bolster self-esteem
-Ex. Non-black participants were either praised or criticized by a white or black doctor.
individuals who received praise from a black doctor tend to think of him more as a doctor
than as a black man.(would recognize the medical words faster)
those who were criticized by a black doctor would tend to think of him more as a black
man than as a doctor. (would recognize the words associated with the black stereotype faster)
Frustration-Aggression Theory: a theory that elaborates the idea that frustration leads
-예일 대학의 심리학자들에 의해 제안된 „좌절-공격 이론‟의 핵심은 자신이 추구
하려던 목표가 좌절되었을 때 공격적이 된다는 것이다. 좌절로 인해 유발된 공격 이 내부로 향하면 자기 학대나 우울증으로, 외부로 향하면 좌절을 불러온 사람
또는 단순히 자기 앞에 있는 대화 상대에 대한 공격적 행동과 발언으로 나타난다.
1. From Generalized to TargetedAggression
-we cannot lash out at the true source of our frustration without getting into further difficulty
so we displace our aggression onto a safer target. (person denied a raise at work takes it out
on the kids at home)
-hardship will generate malevolence directed at minority groups that, by virtue of being
outnumbered and in a weaker position, constitute particularly safe and vulnerable targets.
(anti-Semitism. Jews have been welcomed and accepted but when times got touch, targeted
Jews as scapegoats and directed their anger at the Jewish community)
-Ex. Relationship between the price of cotton and the number of lynchings of blacks in the
South. Lean times saw numerous lynchings; good times, relatively few.
Evaluating the Motivational Perspective
-Motivational perspective builds on 2 important elements of the human condition: 1. People
readily draw the us/them distinction, and the various groups to which an individual belongs
are intimately connected to the motive to enhance self-esteem. 2. People tend to react to
frustration with aggression and often direct their aggression at the “safest” and least powerful
targets in a given society.
-both motivational and economic perspectives have shown: 1. how readily people will reward
their own and penalize outsiders. 2. Both perspectives also speak to how an unequal
distribution of resources can sow the seeds of intergroup hostility. 3. Cognitive perspective
The Cognitive Perspective
-categorizing has a purpose: it simplifies the task of taking in and processing the incredible
volume of stimuli that confronts us.
-according to the cognitive perspective, stereotypes are a natural result of the way our brains
are wired to store and process information.
Stereotypes and the conservation of mental reserves
-stereotypes are useful cognitive categories that allow people to process information efficiently.