PSYC12 Textbook chapter 3

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Published on 23 Jun 2011
School
UTSC
Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC12H3
Chapter 3:
Feeling versus Thinking in the Activation and Application of Stereotypes
MOOD
-A major benefit of the cognitive approach to stereotyping has been the demonstration
of the important influence of expectations about social groups on social judgments
and attitudes and behaviour toward out groups.
-Traditionally, emotions were thought to contribute importantly to the development and
endurance of stereotypes.
-The history of intergroup relations is replete with evidence that intense emotions
guide the thoughts and actions of people in intergroup contexts
-Affect plays a major role in the way that information about social groups and group
members is processed
-Affect influences the accessibility of constructs in memory and thus may determine
which of many social representations are primed, and which characteristics in a given
representation become activated.
-Affect may also influence the extent to which the individual exerts information
processing efforts
-Affect also becomes associated with social group labels through learning processes
-When affect and physiological arousal are associated with group members, they will
influence how many information about the out-group member is interpreted, how the
perceiver responds to the out-group member, and whether the perceiver tends to
interact with members of the target group in the future.
-TYPES OF INTERGROUP AFFECT
Bodenhausen has introduced the useful distinction between incidental affect and
integral affect.
Incidental affect: defined as affect that is elicited by situations unrelated to the
intergroup context
Integral affect: defined as affect that is elicited within the intergroup context and
involves the stereotyped out-group.
Can also arise merely form thinking about the out-group
Bodenhausen notes that much research on stereotyping has utilized incidental
affect.
It is reasonable to suggest that individuals should have a rather stable feeling
toward the out-group as a whole, which may be termed chronic out-group affect.
People can also have an affective reaction within an interaction with a specific
out-group member, and this can be termed episodic out-group affect.
Chronic Out-group Affect: Attitudes have traditionally been viewed as stable,
enduring evaluations of an attitude object.
An attitude object is defined as anything about which one forms an attitude
(e.g. idea, person, object)
This idea certainly holds true for the notion of out-group attitudes.
Allport: “a fixed idea that accompanies a category”
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Because ones out-group attitude was believed to be a stable evaluation of
the out-group and its members, it was assumed that any valuation of the
out-group member in the future, regardless of the context, would be a
direct result of the simple recall of the perceivers stored evaluation of the
out-group member.
In other words, each time the attitude object is perceived or remembered,
the evaluation will trigger beliefs and other information associated with the
object, as well as enduring feelings associated with the attitude object.
The affect that one feels toward the out-group, as a result of ones
enduring attitude toward the out-group can be termed chronic out-group
affect.
Aversive racism: used to describe the prejudice toward African Americans that
characterizes many White Americans attitudes.
Aversive racists truly believe they are egalitarian and regard themselves as
non-prejudiced. However, they also express negative feelings about
African Americans.
A number of possible sources:
Differences in physical appearance between Caucasians and African
Americans can fuel this negative affect
The multiple effects of mere categorization of people into in-groups an
out-group has biasing effects for the perceiver on the perception and
evaluation of people, irrespective of objective evaluations of the
individual being perceived.
People in the in-group are (1) assumed to be more similar in beliefs
(2) evaluated more favorable (3) the recipients of more positive
behavior by the perceiver than are members of out groups (4) found to
be more attractive by the perceiver.
Some suggest that social and cultural factors also contribute to the
anti Black affect felt by aversive racists.
Their negative feelings about African Americans are often kept out of
awareness so that such feelings do not threaten their view of themselves
as egalitarian and nonprejudiced.
The particular negative affective state that has been investigated the most
is anxiety, because it is commonly experienced by individuals in an
intergroup interaction.
Episodic Out-group Affect: Ones intergroup-related affect can also be a result
of a specific interaction with a specific individual member of the out-group.
Result from the imagined interaction with an individual from the out-group.
Incidental Affect: Feelings that have no origination associated with the out-
group can to be characterized as incidental affect. Results indicated that both
incidental sadness and happiness significantly reduced the perception of out-
group variability.
Affect induced in a context unrelated to the out-group can have an impact on
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Document Summary

Feeling versus thinking in the activation and application of stereotypes. A major benefit of the cognitive approach to stereotyping has been the demonstration of the important influence of expectations about social groups on social judgments and attitudes and behaviour toward out groups. Traditionally, emotions were thought to contribute importantly to the development and endurance of stereotypes. The history of intergroup relations is replete with evidence that intense emotions guide the thoughts and actions of people in intergroup contexts. Affect plays a major role in the way that information about social groups and group members is processed. Affect influences the accessibility of constructs in memory and thus may determine which of many social representations are primed, and which characteristics in a given representation become activated. Affect may also influence the extent to which the individual exerts information processing efforts. Affect also becomes associated with social group labels through learning processes.