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Chapter 13

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PSYC 215
Michael Sullivan

Chapter 13: Prejudice and Intergroup Relations ABCs of Intergroup Relationships: Prejudice, Discrimination and Stereotypes Prejudice is a negative attitude or feeling towards an individual based solely on that individuals membership in a certain group. It illustrates racism, which is prejudiced attitudes towards a certain race. Today racism is more subtle than it was, and it takes the form of aversive racism, which is simultaneously holding egalitarian values and negative (aversive or unpleasant) feelings towards minorities. Prejudice often leads to discrimination, which is the unequal treatment of different people based on the groups or categories to which they belong. Stereotypes are beliefs that associate groups of people with certain traits. These are difficult to change, because people tend to throw exceptions to the rule into a separate category, called a subtype. ABCs = the Affective component is prejudice, the Behavioural component is discrimination, and the Cognitive component is stereotyping. Categorizations allows us to more easily make sense of the world. Social categorization is the process of sorting people into groups on the basis of characteristics they have in common (eg: race, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation). A big difference in sorting people and things is the level of emotional involvement: when sorting people into heterosexual, bisexual or homosexual, for example, you belong to one category so you feel emotionally attached to it. But someone sorting fruits into apples and oranges would not feel the same way. Outgroup members are people who belong to a different group or category than we do. Ingroup members are people who belong to the same group or category as we do. Most people assume that outgroup members are more similar to each other than ingroup members are. This is a false assumption known as the outgroup homogeneity bias. People even see people of outgroups as looking the same! When it comes to witnesses, you can identify ingroup members better than outgroup members. But when it comes to angry outgroup members, then they are easier to identify. This is because it is important to keep track of dangerous people. The bias is easily explained by the fact that we do not have as much exposure to outgroup members as we do to ingroup members. Common Prejudices and Targets Most come from external characteristics that are readily visible. The most widely discussed prejudices are racism, followed by sexism. Arabs and Muslims: o Prejudice and discrimination has increased since September 11th. o Bushman and Bonacci experiment: Participants were given a questionnaire to assess their bias against Arabs and Muslims. Then they were accidentally sent an email either addressed to an Arab or to an English person. The email either said that the person won a scholarship and had to respond in 48 hours, or did not win one. Those who had a bias against arabs were 12% less likely to forward the email to the right person if the intended recipient was arab, as long as the email said that the student had won the scholarship. Those who had a bias against arabs were 19% more likely to return to lost email to an arab if the email said they did not win the scholarship. Those with no biases returned the emails with no bias. o Research has shown that the more people watch the news, the more prejudiced they are about Arabs and Muslims. People who are overweight: o Many people openly admit and act upon their prejudice against obese people. o Stigma by association: there is a negative stigma, for example, on someone sitting beside an obese person. This is the rejection of those who associate with stigmatized others. Homosexuals: o Anti-gay prejudices are very strong, even if being gay is not something that is visible. o This is also a prejudice that people are more likely to openly admit to. o Homophobia: excessive fear of gay people or gay behaviour. o Angry prejudice: An experiment shows that homophobics administered shocks more freely to a homosexual than to a heterosexual, especially after being made to watch a homosexual erotic tape. o Homosexual prejudices are more common among men than women, even though men are more likely to be homosexual or to take part in homosexual acts. Men are women are also more intolerant of homosexual behaviour in their own gender. Stigmas: characteristics of individuals that are considered socially unacceptable (overweight, mentally ill, sickness, poverty, physical blemishes). QUIZ: 1. Prejudice is to discrimination as ______ is to _______. a. Affect, behaviour b. Affect, cognition c. Cognition, affect d. Cognition, behaviour 2. Becca is a store clerk. While she is shopping at another store in her day off she runs into a very rude store clerk and a very rude executive. Becca will probably conclude _____.a. Most store clerks and managers tend to be rude b. Most store clerks but not necessarily managers tend to be rude c. Most managers but not necessarily store clerks tend to be rude d. Neither most store clerks nor most managers tend to be rude 3. The second leading cause of preventable death in the USA is ____. a. Alcohol b. Diet and activity level c. Tobacco d. Toxic Agents 4. Compared to nonhomophobics, homophobics are _____ aggressive toward homosexual targets and are _____ aggressive toward heterosexual targets. a. More, less b. More, equally c. Less, less d. More, more Why Prejudice Exists One theory is that is comes from culture/learned through socialization. However some may also be natural, and we must exert effort to override them. Prejudices are also found all over the world. Ingroup favouritism is the preferential treatment of, or more favourable attitudes towards, people in ones own group. Tajfel wanted to do an experiment where he started at an arbitrary group with no prejudices and worked his way up, adding differences to see
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