-3 general perspectives that shed light on these issues (are complimentary, not competing elements):
-The economic perspective: identifies the roots of much intergroup hostility in the competing
interests that set many groups apart from one another.
-The motivational perspective: emphasizes the psychological needs and wishes that lead to
-The cognitive perspective: Traces the origin of stereotyping to the same cognitive processes that
allow people to categorize, say, items of furniture into distinct classes of chairs, couches and
tables. Takes into account the conflict between beliefs/values and quick, reflexive reactions to
members of other demographic groups.
Characterizing Intergroup Bias
-Stereotypes: Beliefs that certain attributes are characteristics of members of particular groups (positive
or negative, true or false).
-Concern with stereotyping is the kind that gives rise to discrimination and prejudice.
-Prejudice: A negative attitude or affective response toward a certain group and its individual members.
(Although it is also possible to have a positive prejudice about a group. A prejudice simply means
prejudging others because they belong to a specific category.
-Discrimination: Unfair treatment of members of a particular group based on their membership in that
-References to components of negative intergroup relations:
-Ingroup favoritism can arise in the absence of outgroup enmity.
-It is possible to be prejudiced but not discriminate.
-Racism is less common/accepted today, causing conflict in people between what they think they should
think and feel and what they really think and feel.
-Conflict between beliefs and values (belief in equal treatment vs. a desire to make up for past
-Conflict between abstract beliefs and gut-level reactions (belief that we ought to feel the same way
about members of all groups vs. some hard to shake off resistance to that belief).
-Some actions towards other groups are unconscious and automatic.
-Modern Racism: Prejudice directed at other racial groups that exists alongside rejection of explicitly
-Some people hold strong egalitarian values that lead them to reject prejudice and discrimination, but
also harbor unacknowledged negative feelings and attitudes toward minority groups that stem from
ingroup favoritism and a desire to defend the status quo. If there is no reason for discrimination, their
responses will conform to their egalitarian values, but also vice-versa.
-When the desire to appear unprejudiced is sufficiently strong, it is possible to observe a bias directed at
Benevolent Racism and Sexism
-Ambivalent "isms": positive or negative.
-Benevolent sexism and hostile sexism can coexist:
-Benevolent Sexism: A chivalrous ideology that offers protection and affection to women who
embrace conventional roles. -Hostile Sexism: Dislike of women who are viewed as usurping men's power.
-By rewarding women and minorities for conforming to the status quo, benevolent sexism and racism
inhibit progress toward equality.
Measuring Attitudes About Groups
-First method: ask. Although some people are unwilling to be honest.
The Implicit Association Test (IAT)
-A technique for revealing nonconscious prejudices toward particular groups.
-The IAT assessed an important component of attitudes that participants were unable or unwilling to
Priming and Implicit Prejudice
-Priming: A procedure used to increase the accessibility of a concept or schema (fro example, a
-Lexical games. (see notes from March 15th)
-Implicit measure of prejudice
The Economic Perspective
-A lot of intergroup tensions arise from more than one group fighting for the same limited resource
Realistic Group Conflict Theory
-A theory that group conflict, prejudice, and discrimination are likely to arise over competition between
groups for limited resources.
-Theory predicts that prejudice and discrimination should increase under conditions of economic
-Also predicts that prejudice and discrimination should be strongest amongst groups who risk losing the
most to another group's economic advance.
-Ethnocentrism develops: Glorifying one's own group while vilifying other groups.
-People in outgroup are stereotyped in ways normally unaccepted by our moral codes while at the same
time loyalty to the ingroup strengthens.
The Robbers Cave Experiment
-Experiment with 22 average 5th graders with no significant differences. Were split into 2 groups of 11
and placed in different areas of the park, and originally each team did not know about the existence of
the other team.
Competition and Intergroup Conflict
-Each group participated in activities to foster unity.
-Next the two teams were brought together to compete for 5 days: the winners would receive a medal
and a pocket knife, the losers would get nothing.
-Groups were name-calling.
-Expressions of intergroup hostility.
-Ingroup favoritism (each group thought their group had collected more beans even though it was
Reducing Intergroup Conflict through Superordinate Goals
-3rd step: to try to reduce conflict between the two groups.
-They were brought together in non-competitive settings. Hostility did not subside.
-Were presented with crisis' that could only be solved with the participation and cooperation of the two
groups. Showed effects of 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.
-Name calling dropped, friendships formed. -Demonstrated that no differences in background, appearance or prior history of conflict is necessary for
intergroup hostility to develop. All that is required is two groups competing for goals that only one can
-Competition amongst "outsiders" often increases group cohesion.
-To reduce conflict between groups, policy makers should think of ways to get them to work together to
fulfill a common goal.
Evaluating the Economic Perspective
-In these circumstances (the 3rd step of the experiment), the group or category to which a person
belongs recedes in importance, and what he or she can contribute to the joint effort becomes more
-Bell curving is an example where students see their grades as competitive.
-Racial groups tend to segregate themselves at university.
The Motivational Perspective
-Intergroup hostility can develop in the absence of competition.
-The 2 groups in the experiment demonstrated hostility before the competition, just when they came
within earshot of one another. Intergroup hostility thus can develop merely because another group
The Minimal Group Paradigm
-An experimental paradigm in which researchers create groups based on arbitrary and seemingly
meaningless criteria and then examine how members of these "minimal groups" are inclined to behave
toward one another.
-Divided into two groups, and told they are either "overestimators" or "underestimators" , but this is
-The majority of participants are interested in maximizing the relative gain for members of their ingroup
than in maximizing absolute gain for their ingroup. When participants were asked to rate other
participants, they had a tendency to favor their minimal ingroup.
Social Identity Theory
-We need a theory to explain why, once the us/them distinction is made, we and they have the sorts of
material or economic implications discussed earlier.
-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.
Boosting the Status of the Ingroup
-To boost our own self esteem, then , we might be tempted to do what we can to boost the status and
fortunes of the groups to which we belong.
-Those who had been allowed to engage in intergroup discrimination had higher self-esteem that those
who had not been given the opportunity to discriminate.
-People who take strong pride in their group affiliations are more prone to ingroup favoritism when
placed in a minimal group situation.
-People highly identified with a particular group react to criticism of the group as if it were criticism of
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: students where school clothing more after their sports team wins.
-"we won" (1st person) but "they lost" (3rd person) -We tend to identify ourselves with the groups we affiliate ourselves with when they do well but
distance ourselves when they don't.
Derogating Outgroups to Bolster Self-Esteem
-Stereotyping and prejudice (derogating outgroups) can boost self-esteem.
-If participants whose self-esteem is threatened, they will rate people of another group more negatively.
-A theory that elaborates the idea that frustration leads to aggression.
-This theory is a good illustration of the sometimes blurry line between economic and motivational
accounts of stereotyping and prejudice: If the source of frustration is the group to which prejudice and
discrimination are directed (if the outgroup members are perceived as getting in the way of the
individual's goals) frustration-aggression theory is both economic and motivational. But if the source of
frustration is not