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Chapter 12

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PSYC 260
James Climenhage

Chapter 12: Prejudice Prejudice: The Ubiquitous Social Phenomenon Country nationality is an aspect of your identity – can cause you yo be labelled and discriminated against - racial and ethnic identity is another - Gender, sexual orientation, your religion, your weight, and even age - Hobbies and profession can stereotype people Measurement of Prejudice Modern Prejudice – People have become careful to outwardly act unprejudiced even if they inwardly maintain their prejudiced views Method 1 to assess prejudice: - Participant rates neutral image (like Chinese character) as pleasant or unpleasant subsequent to seeing a white or black face Method 2: Push away words or bring words closer  prejudiced people pushed away homosexual words Modern Homonegativity Scale Prejudice, Stereotyping, and Discrimination Defined Prejudice is an attitude – attitudes are made up of 3 components: 1. Affective/Emotion component – the type of emotion linked with the attitude a. Can have a positive or negative affect – but mostly is used for a negative affect b. Prejudice – a hostile or negative attitude toward people in a distinguishable group, based solely on their membership in that group 2. Cognitive Component – the beliefs or thoughts that make up the attitude a. We tend to categorize according to what we regard as normative within a culture b. Stereotype – a generalization about a group of people in which identical characteristics are assigned to virtually all members of the group, regardless of actual variation among the members i. Once formed, they are resistant to changes on the basis of new information ii. Is not always negative – is a way to simplify how we look at the world iii. Is maladaptive and unfair when it blinds us to individual differences – can lead to discrimination c. Boy in particular face negative social consequences for engaging in behavior that are considered feminine 3. Behavioural Component – one’s actions a. Discrimination – unjustified negative or harmful action toward a member of a group simply because of his or her membership in that group What Causes Prejudice? The Way We Think: Social Cognition The by-product of the way we process and organize information – our tendency to categorize and group information together, to form schemas and to use these to interpret new or unusual information, - to rely on potentially inaccurate heuristics (short cuts in mental reasoning) and to depend on what are often faulty memory processes can lead us to form negative stereotypes and to apply them in a discriminatory way Social Categorization: Us VS Them Step 1: Creation of Groups - putting some people into one group based on certain characteristics and other into another group based on their different characteristics In-Group Bias In-group bias – the tendency to evaluate in-group members more positively than out-group members - out-group members are often seen as possessing negative traits and are often disliked - “us” and “them” feelings, membership can be trivial like being photographed together Why Do We Show In-Group Bias? Has 2 parts: 1. Belonging to a group gives us a social identity a. Individuals who strongly identify with a group would be more likely to favour their group than individuals who only weakly identify with their group b. Threats to identity also cause people to become more protective of the in-group c. The more strongly one identifies with one’s own group, the more likely one is to discriminate against an out-group d. If a person’s sense of social identity is threatened, he or she might be especially likely to discriminate against an out-group 2. Having a social identity contributes to feeling of self-esteem a. Self-esteem boost leads them to believe that their group is superior and that other groups are inferior b. Research: self-esteem in only boosted by discrimination when social identity is involved c. If we are feeling defensive and threatened, we are more likely to engage in discrimination than if our self-esteem is in good shape Implications of Social Categorization for Reducing Prejudice To minimize effects: 1. To change people’s perceptions of ‘us’ and ‘them’ – either by promoting a common identity or by emphasizing the superordinate groups to which both in-group and out- group members belong a. Backed by evidence – suggested: speaking the same language can help blur the distinction between ‘us’ and ‘them’ b. Make a salient superordinate group to which members of both groups belong 2. To provide people with an alternative route to self-esteem, so they won’t have to step on others a. Based on self-affirmation theory – if people were affirmed in some way, they would be less likely to need to boot their self-esteem by derogating out-group members What We Believe: Stereotypes If we have a negative stereotype of a group, we will show prejudice toward members of that group - Not always the case – stereotypes are turned on or off o Our attitudes toward members of another group are determined by our stereotype of that group and also by our perception of that group’s stereotype of ‘us’ The Activation of Stereotypes Stereotype lurk just beneath the surface and once activated, the stereotype can have dire consequences for how a particular member of that out-group is perceived and treated - Activation can be activated by a racist or negative comment by any member of the out- group Automatic and Controlled Processing of Stereotypes How activation process works: Automatic process – a process in which we have no control - Ex: if you score very low on a prejudice scale, you are certainly familiar with certain stereotypes that exist in our culture - These stereotypes are automatically triggered under certain conditions:- they just pop into one’s mind For people who are not deeply prejudiced, controlled processes can suppress or override these stereotypes Devine’s theory has a 2-step model for cognitive processing: 1. The automatic processing brings up information – stereotypes 2. Controlled processes can refute or ignore it The Motivation to Control Prejudice Automatic stereotyping activation is influenced by the motivation to control prejudice - Whether we want to be prejudiced or not o Researchers: those of us who want to be non-prejudiced are less likely to activate negative stereotypes automatically when we encounter stereotype relevant cues The Need to Feel Good about Ourselves We automatically activate stereotypes if by doing so we get a self-esteem boost If we stereotype a person as incompetent then we won’t be able to accept their praise for us, so in order to accept the praise we will push out the stereotype from his mind Sinclar and Kunda – we selectively activated stereotypes and also selectively inhibit them in the service of self-enhancement - Those praised by a person will inhibit their stereotype for the person (racial or otherwise) - If we can salvage our self-esteem by activating negative stereotypes about a group, we will do so o But if a negative stereotype will interfere with a self-esteem boost, we push that stereotype out of our mind Meta-Stereotypes Meta-Stereotypes – a person’s beliefs regarding the stereotype that out-group members hold about their own group - This can be the most important determinant of their reaction - People show greater prejudice when they expect to be perceived in terms of the stereotype they believe others hold of their group - Recent research: meta-stereotypes influence people’s behavior during interactions Can Prejudice Be Reduced by Revising Stereotypical Belief? Stereotypes are very resistant t change –there is proof of them, and even in the face of contradictory ideas we hang on to them When it is impossible to interpret the person’s behavior in stereotype-consistent term, we create a new subtype for it – especially if we are able to come up with some justification for doing so When people are bombarded with many examples that are inconsistent with the stereotype, they do gradually modify their beliefs The Way We Feel: Affect and Mood Emotion, symbolic beliefs, and behavior can affect prejudice - Esses – the emotions elicited by a particular group are the most important determinant of our level of prejudice – even more than stereotype of the group - Prejudice is also a product of our symbolic beliefs – the perception that a particular group promotes or hinders values that we cherish - Prejudice is a product of our behavior and our experiences with members of the group Stereotypic beliefs: characteristics you would use to describe the group Symbolic beliefs – the values that you believe members of the group promote or hinder Stereotypes did not strongly predict attitudes toward any of these groups when emotions, symbolic beliefs, and behavior were taken into account - Emotion is also a strong predictor of the prejudice that minority groups feel toward majority groups Reducing Prejudice by Changing People’s Emotion In order to reduce prejudice, design intervention that will speak to people’s hearts rather than to their heads - Focusing on feelings about the discriminatory situations did not affect people’s symbolic beliefs or their stereotypes but rather their emotions The Way We assign Meaning: Attributional Biases Correspondence Bias – person’s behavior is due to his or her personality and not the situation or the person’s life circumstance - Correspondence bias can lead to Ultimate Attribution Error – our tendency t make dispositional attributions about an entire group of people - When people conform to our stereotype, we tend to assume that their behavior is due to something about their character or disposi
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