PSYC 241 Chapter Notes - Chapter 12: Scapegoating

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PSYC241 – Chapter 13: Prejudice
Prejudice: The Ubiquitous Social Phenomenon
- Prejudice can occur towards any group, minority or majority
- Prejudice can cause low self-esteem, leading to unhappiness and poor success
Prejudice Defined
-Prejudice: a hostile or negative attitude toward a distinguishable group of people,
based solely on their membership in that group
Stereotypes: The Cognitive Component
-Stereotype: A generalization about a group of people in which certain traits are
assigned to virtually all members of the group, regardless of actual variation
among the members
- Stereotypes are resistant to change on the basis of new information
- Stereotyping is a cognitive process, not an emotional one
- Stereotyping is a way to minimize our effort in understanding all people. Instead,
we develop a criteria for a certain group and use our cognitive energy for other
processes  “the law of least effort”
-Sports, Race, and Attribution
oTendency to attribute sports ability to race (ex. African Americans better at
basketball, Caucasians better at hockey)
-Stereotypes, Attribution, and Gender
oTendency to attribute man’s success to ability and womans success to
hard work or luck (not necessarily intelligence or ability)
oFrom an early age, girls begin to attribute their failures to lack of ability
and boys begin to attribute their failures to bad luck
oStereotypical thinking of mothers influences how child will think (ex. If
mother believes in stereotype of girls being bad at math, so will the
daughter and may actually perform worse than she otherwise would have)
Discrimination: The Behavioural Component
-Discrimination: unjustified negative or harmful action toward a member of a
group simply because of his/her membership in that group
- Discrimination can result in the self-fulfilling prophecy
-Discrimination Against Homosexuals:
oIn a study, potential employers appeared to be more uncomfortable and
more distant around homosexuals, though there was no evidence of work-
related discrimination
What Causes Prejudice?
- Unsure if prejudice comes naturally, but the specifics of prejudice are learned
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