PSYB10H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 12: Ultimate Attribution Error, The Need, Contact Hypothesis

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Chapter 12: Stereotyping and Prejudice (Lecture 19)
Prejudice: Stereotyping, and Discrimination Defined
Prejudice is an attitude
Attitudes are made up of 3 components:
oan effective or emotional component
representing the type of emotion linked w/ the attitude (e.g.
anger, warmth)
ocognitive component
involving the beliefs or thoughts (cognition) that make up the
obehavioral component
relating to ones actions- ppl dont simply hold attitudes; they
usually act on them as well
Prejudice: The Affective Component
prejudice refers to the general attitude structure and its affective (emotional)
can involve either positive or negative affect
prejudice: hostile or negative attitude toward a distinguishable group of ppl,
based solely on their membership in that group
e.g. when we say that an individual is prejudiced against aboriginal ppl, we
mean that he/ she feels hostility or disliking toward aboriginal ppls as a
Stereotypes: The Cognitive Component
stereotype: generalization about a group of ppl in which identical
characteristics are assigned to virtually all members of the group,
regardless of actual variation among the members
once formed, stereotypes are resistant to change on the basis of new
stereotyping doesnt necessarily lead to negative or harmful behaviors
stereotyping is merely a way to simplify how we look at the work
Allport, the law of least effort
oWorld is just too complicated for us to have a highly differentiated
attitude about everything
Instead, we max. our cognitive time and energy by developing elegant,
accurate attitudes about some topics, while relying on simple, sketchy
beliefs for others
If a stereotype blinds us to individual differences w/in a class of ppl, its
maladaptive and unfair, and can lead to discrimination
Discrimination: The Behavioral Component
Discrimination: unjustified negative or harmful action toward a member of
a group, simply b/c of his/ her membership in that group
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Chapter 12: Stereotyping and Prejudice (Lecture 19)
E.g. if a math teacher have the stereotype belief that girls are hopeless at
math, teacher might spend less time in the classroom coaching a girl than a
What causes prejudice?
The Way We Think: Social Cognition
Inevitable byproduct of the way we process and organize info.- its the dark
side of human social cognition
Our tendency to categorize and group info. together, to form schemas and to
use these to interpret new or unusual info., to rely on potential inaccurate
heuristics (shortcuts in mental reasoning), and to depend on what are often
faulty memory processes
Social Categorization: Us versus Them
1st step in prejudice is the creation of groups
oPutting some ppl into one group based on certain characteristics and
others into another group based on their diff. characteristics
When we encounter a person w/ certain characteristics (e.g. old, male), we
rely on our perceptions of what ppl w/ similar characteristics have been like
in the past to help us determine how to react to this person
Social categorization is both useful and necessary but has profound
implications b/c the process of classifying ppl into groups is rarely a neutral
In- Group Bias
In group bias: tendency to evaluate in group members more positively than
out group members
Why Do We Show the In- Group Bias?
Belonging to a group gives us a social identity
Having a social identity contributes to feelings of self- esteem
Social Identity Benefits
Individuals who strongly identify w/ a group would be more likely to favor
their group and discriminate against an out group
The more strongly one identifies w/ ones own group, the more likely one is to
discriminate against an out group
If a persons sense of social identity is threatened, he/ she might be especially
likely to discriminate
Self- Esteem Benefits
Dividing the world into us and Them gives us a sense of social identity
oGives ppl a self- esteem boost if they believe that their group is
superior and that other groups are inferior
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Chapter 12: Stereotyping and Prejudice (Lecture 19)
Discriminating against others improves our self- esteem, but only when our
social identity is involved
If we are feeling defensive and threatened, we are more likely to engage in
discrimination than if our self- esteem is in good shape
Out Group Homogeneity
Out group homogeneity: perception that those in the out- group are more
similar (homogenous) to each other than they really are, and more similar
than the members of the in group are to each other
If you know sth about one out group member, it feels like you know sth about
all of them
Implications of Social Categorization for Reducing Prejudice
Ways to min. boost self esteem by discrimination against them
oChange ppls perceptions of us and Them- either by promoting a
common identity or by emphasizing the super ordinate groups to
which both in group and out group members belong
oProvide ppl w/ an alternative route to self- esteem, so they wont have
to step on others to be on top
Prejudice is diminished when groups share a common identity
Prejudice and discrimination can be reduced when ppls focus shifts from
membership in their specific in group to a broader group that includes
members of the out group
What We Believe: Stereotypes
The Activation of Stereotypes
2 step model of the cognitive processing of stereotypes
oA- Automatic Processing
Occurs whenever an appropriate stimulus is encounter- either
a member of a stereotyped group or contact w/ a stereotypical
statement- causing the stereotypes for that group to be
accessed from member
Occurs w/o your awareness. You dont purposefully think
those thoughts; they just happen”- triggered by the presence
of the stimulus
Will say well, yeah, I guess
oC- Controlled Processing
Occurs w/ your awareness- as when you choose to disregard or
ignore the stereotyped info. that has been brought to mind
Will say what a totally unfair thing to say
The Motivation to Control Prejudice
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