PSYC12H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 6: Reverse Discrimination, Reference Group, Mathematical Model

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Published on 1 Feb 2013
Chapter 6 Experiencing Prejudice
1) Stereotyping and prejudice occur in a dynamic social context involving the perceiver and target
reacting to each other. It involves feedback from the target that often confirms the expectations of
the perceiver, with the perceiver’s behaviour often then confirming the expectations of the target
2) Social Stigma
a) Stigma the possession of a characteristic or attribute that conveys a negative social identity
b) Stigma marks the individual as “deviant, flawed, limited, spoiled or generally undesirable”
c) Stigma also covers any physical, behavioural, psychological marker that elicits negative
evaluation from society
d) Three types of stigmas, as described by Erving Goffman:
i) Abominations of the body
ii) Blemishes of individual character
iii) Tribal stigmas of race, nation, and religion
3) Group Identification
a) Research indicates that individuals faced with external threats (e.g., prejudice) show stronger
ingroup identification
b) New research suggest that the identification depends on how strongly the individual views
between himself and the group
i) High-identifiers are more likely to associate themselves with their group, especially when it
has a negative image
ii) They derive their self-esteem from their identification as a group member
iii) They are likely to seek collective strategies, and they are fully committed, loyal group
iv) Low identifiers are much more likely to dissociate themselves from the group, especially
when the group has a negative image
v) Low identifiers seem ‘quite prepared to let the group fall apart’ when the group is
threatened or has a negative image
vi) They are more individualistic and opportunistic in that they will “only identify themselves
with the group when it would positively affect their social identity”
4) Stereotype Threat
a) Individuals in stereotyped groups will often resist themselves from behaving in ways that
confirm stereotypes about one’s group. Doing so would appear to show support the legitimacy
of the stereotype in the eyes of others, even in the individual’s own view
b) Individuals in stereotyped groups will engage in performance-limiting behaviour in order to
provide them with an excuse for their expected poor performance on the stereotype-relevant
c) Stereotype threat situation in which negative expectations about ability (due to stereotypes
about the group’s ability on that dimension) lead the stigmatized person to experience anxiety
at the thought of performing poorly and confirming the stereotype. This anxiety often has the
unfortunate effects in inhibiting performance and confirming the stereotype
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d) Research shows that people under stereotype threat actually fare worse physiologically than
their non-threatened counterparts
e) Black participants in a threatened condition showed significantly higher blood pressure
f) This may help to explain the higher incidence of coronary heart disease and high blood pressure
among Black persons
g) Stereotype lift nonstigmatized persons seem to experience a performance enhancement when
they engage in a downward comparison between themselves and a member of a stereotyped
h) Those people higher in “stereotype vulnerability” tended to be the least in touch with the
quality of their performances on a stereotype-relevant task
i) When participants were individuated, i.e., distanced oneself from the stereotyped group, they
outperformed their nonindividuated counterparts
j) The results of a research that examined the influence of salient positive stereotypes on one’s
task performance indicate that when participants’ ethnic identity was made salient, their math
performance was significantly worse than when their personal identity was made salient
i) Other research on the same subject reached the opposite conclusion
k) Other research on an-Asian American research found that it is the low sociability (and not the
perceived high intellectual competence) that primarily drives anti-American prejudice
i) this support the Stereotype-content model (SCM) which says that many stereotypes and
prejudices can be located along two dimensions:
(1) competence
(2) warmth
l) many stereotype-threatened individuals are motivated to do well on the tasks, however they
tend to be inefficient in their work, largely because their attention is split between their
alternating assessment of the correct answers to the task and their worry that their
performance may confirm a stereotype of their group
m) disidentification process whereby members of stereotyped groups disengage their identity
from a stereotype-relevant domain, in order to preserve their self-esteem
i) e.g., a woman may disidentify with achievement in science and mathematics, and African
Americans may disidentify from academics in order to retain their self-esteem
n) research shows that stigmatized person is more likely than the nonstigmatized person to show
disidentification, however they are less likely to see the stereotype-threat dimension as
i) thus, although disidentified stigmatized individuals agree that the stereotype-threat
dimension is important, is it not important for them and for their self-identity
o) social identity theory (SIT) states that we drive our identity and self-esteem through 2 avenues:
i) through our own accomplishments
ii) through our group membership
(1) SIT suggest that when one belongs to devalued group, continued identification with the
group threatens one’s self-esteem. These individuals may disidentify with their ingroup
in order to protect their self-esteem
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p) Research shows that when participants are told negative stereotypes inconsistent with the
ingroup lead to ingroup members to increase their perceptions of ingroup homogeneity. When
participants are told negative stereotypes consistent with the ingroup lead to the participants to
protect their social identity by emphasizing that not all members of their group are
characterized by the negative stereotype; emphasizing more ingroup heterogeneity
q) Adaptive aspect of disidentification healthy, effective coping response against prejudice and
r) Maladaptive aspect of disidentification it imperils the individual’s chances for success and
achievement in domains that society may regard as important
5) Self-Esteem
a) Research shows that stigmatized persons suffer no damage to their self-esteem, and in some
cases, have higher self-esteem than their nonstigmatized counterparts
b) Other research shows that some stigmatized groups (e.g., African Americans) do not show
decrease in self-esteem, but others (e.g., overweight persons) do suffer lower self-esteem
c) The perceived controllability of the stigma determines how some people are able to protect
their self-esteem while others cannot
d) Those individuals who believe that their stigmatizing condition is controllable may be more likely
to feel that negative evaluations of them are justified, and will be more likely to feel lower self-
e) On the other hand, believing that one’s stigma is uncontrollable will lead the stigmatized
individual to resist the “blame” for the stigma, to attribute negative evaluations to prejudice,
and to maintain self-esteem
f) Research shows that African Americans tend to have higher self-esteem than Caucasians
i) African Americans do not base their self-worth on the way others view them
ii) Their reference group is other African Americans, and not society
iii) They are a distinctive minority group, and by embracing that distinctiveness and their
positive ethnic/racial identity, they maintain self-esteem high
g) Denial of Discrimination
i) Other research revealed another way individuals maintain their self-esteem
ii) Stigmatized persons are able to deny that they have been personally discriminated against,
or that they have suffered prejudice, discrimination, or other mistreatment related to their
iii) These stigmatized person acknowledges that their group suffers discrimination and
prejudice in society but claims that they have not personally had such negative experiences
iv) Such a perspective may be an adaptive way to deal with the unfair treatment one often
receives as a result of being a member of a stigmatized group
v) The more an individual does endorse denial of discrimination, the less likely it is that
negative behaviour/evaluations from the nonstigmatized individual will be interpreted as
instances of discrimination or prejudice
h) Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
i) Stigmatized group comes to accept and believe some negative stereotypes about itself
occurs through a self-fulfilling prophecy
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