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PSYC 1000 - Module Summaries 45, 46 & 48.docx

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University of Guelph
PSYC 1000
Jeffrey Yen

Module 45 · Prejudice o Means a pre-judgment – is it an unjustifiable and usually negative attitude towards a group (of different cultural, ethnic, or gender group) o It has 3 parts § Emotions (hostility and fear) § Predisposition of Action (discrimination) § Beliefs (stereotypes – generalized belief about a group of people) o Prejudice is a negative attitude o Discrimination is a negative behavior o To assess prejudice, we can observe what people say and do o As overt prejudice wanes, subtle prejudice lingers o Many people admit that they would feel uncomfortable being with someone of a different race (dating, marriage, dancing with) o Overt prejudice persists in many places (i.e. people were prejudiced towards Muslims after 9/11) o In many places worldwide homosexuality cannot comfortably express their sexuality o Why does prejudice arise? Social inequalities and divisions are partly responsible · Social inequalities o The just-world phenomenon – the tendency for people to believe the world is just and therefore people get what they deserve and deserve what they get (good people get rewarded evil are punished) o Victims of discrimination may react with self-blame or anger o Either reaction (^) can feed prejudice through the classic “blame the victim” dynamic · Us and Them; In-group & Out-group o Diving the world into us and them entails racism and war but also provides the benefits of communal solidarity o We cheer for our groups – kill for them, die for them o Through social identities, we associate ourselves with certain groups and contrast ourselves with others o Evolution prepared us for encountering strangers, to allow us to make quick judgments – Friend or Foe/Fight or Flight o Our group consists of those who look, act and talk like us – we tend to instantly like people like this o In-group – “us”… people with whom we share common identities o We form a circle around the “us” group o People outside the circle are the “them” group o Out-group – “them”… those perceived as different or apart from our in-group o In-group bias is the tendency to favor our group over others (i.e. Greeks as barbarians, children favoring their school over others, high school cliques) o Even chimps have adapted this bias – a chimp will wipe a spot clean if they have been touched by a chimp of another group o In-group bias explains the cognitive partisanship · Emotional Roots of Prejudice o Prejudice not only comes from divisions of society but also from passions of the heart o Scapegoat theory – theory that prejudice offers an outlet for anger by providing someone to blame o Fear and anger create aggression… aggression against different racial groups creates racism… In turn this creates new forms of terrorism (Philip and Zimbardo) o Evidence for scapegoat theory of prejudice comes from high prejudice among economically frustrated people o To boost our confidence, it helps to have others to blame o Negative emotions flourish prejudice o When in a life threatening situation, people cling to friends and their in-group for support o Prejudice springs from cultures’ divisions, heart’s passion and from the mind’s natural workings § Stereotypes are by products of how we cognitively simplify the world · Forming categories o We categorize to simplify the world o When categorizing, we subconsciously stereotype o Other race effect – tendency to recall faces of one’s own race more accurately than faces of other races (emerges during infancy around 3-9 months) o Hindsight bias plays a role in this § The tendency to believe (after learning an outcome) that one would have foreseen it · Aggression o Prejudice hurts, but aggression hurts more o Aggression – any physical/verbal behavior intended to hurt or destroy o Aggressive behavior emerges from interaction of biology and experience o You need a trigger to cause aggression o Biology influences aggression (Neural, Genetically, and Biochemically) § Genetic Influences · Genes influence aggression · Example – Animals are bred for aggressiveness · Example – Identical twins are more likely to have the same short temper, rather than fraternal twins who could have different tempers § Neural Influences · Aggression is a complex behavior and occurs in particular contexts · Given provocation, humans and animals will inhibit or facilitate aggressive behavior § Biochemical Influences · Our genes engineer our individual nervous system which operates electrochemically · Humans are less sensitive to hormonal changes (as a man ages, his aggression and testosterone levels will diminish) · Alcohol unleashes aggressive behaviors, a response to frustration · Alcohols affects are both biological and psychological · Alcohol focuses its attention on provocation · Simple, ambiguous acts (like a small bump) could be provocation enough · Aversive Events o Frustration-aggressive principle – the principle that frustration creates anger which can generate aggression · Reinforcement and Modeling o Aggression may be a natural response to aversive events but learning can alter natural reactions o We learn by observation o Aggressive-replacement program – rehabilitating juveniles by teaching them anger management skills and peaceful ways to resolve disputes · Media Models for Violence o Social scripts – culturally modeled guide for how to act in various situations o Example – TV shows, pornography, sexual films and video games o Sexual Promiscuity -> Coerciveness against Women
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