PSYC12H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: In-Group Favoritism, Stereotype Threat, Ingroups And Outgroups

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20 Mar 2013
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PSYC12 Chapter 2
-cognitive psychologists found out that the human brain seems to almost
automatically categorize similar objects in the enviro. Been shown to begin as early
as 6 months.
>stereotyping was no longer regarded as the product of lazy thinking by the
uneducated. It was now regarded as a natural consequence of cognition
-when we encounter a person, we tend to automatically assess that person on the
basis of our perception of that person’s features.
>humans have a limited-capacity cognitive system, cant process all available info
in our social enviro
-categorize people, objects, ideas, etc. based on shared features.
>classify individ along some broad categories like gender, race and age.
Immediate/obvious features of them, and these categories yield lots of info about
useful distinctions in social behave among those diff groups
>process occurs very quickly, virtually automatic.
>the way the person categorizes a picture of an individ depends on the
perceiver’s motives, cognitions and affect.
-a basic way in which we partition people is into ingroups (groups we belong to)
and outgroups (groups we don’t belong to)
>individ part of an outgroup are perceived as sharing similar characteristics,
motives and other features. When it comes to our ingroup, we like to think that our
group comprises unique people who happen to share one or two common features
>outgroup members are “all alike”. The outgroup members that most closely
resemble what one believes is the typical member of an outgroup, will be more
likely to be perceived stereotypically that those who have fewer of the stereotyped
characteristics of the typical outgroup member (outgroup homogeneity)
-we’re enhancing our self concept by thinking that we do not belong in an
homogenous type of group where all the members are similar in may ways
-by favoring our ingroups, we also tend to put down outgroups.
>this idea is not totally supported. But the more an outgroup is seen as similar,
the greater the likelihood for perceivers to use group or stereotype labels to access
info about outgroup
-exposure to members of outgroup can lead to either a more stereotyped view or
more positive view of the outgroup, depending on context.
-the dimension on which people are viewed as ingroup or outgroup members
doesn’t have to be a meaningful one (racial or political) in order for the bias to occur.
>even minimal groups can show ingroup bias. Minimal groups have none of the
usual features of a group structure. Occurs even when people are arbitrarily
assigned to a group
-group status moderates the tendency to engage in ingroup favoritism. Low status
groups tend to show outgroup favoritism and high status groups showed ingroup
-children of parents who were authoritarian, were moly to develop prejudiced
-parents and their adult children are similar in intergroup attitudes.
>factor that determined the influence the degree of the parent/child intergroup
attitude similarity was whether or not the parents showed Right-Wing
Authoritarianism (RWH)
>attitudes of adult children of low RWH were similar to those of their parents.
>relationship of kids of high RWH parents depended on whether or not they saw
their parents as responsive. Those who saw them as responsive were more similar
to their parents.
-stereotypes have strong influence on child’s perception of their ingroups and
outgroups. Research found that majority group kids had more + attitudes toward
their own groups and attitudes toward outgroups
>minority group members also had more + views of the majority group than of
even their own ingroup. 2
>asked to explain successful performances of majority group members, both
groups made positive internal attributions. But they attributed successful
performance of minority group members to luck
-children from stigmatized groups are aware of stereotypes about their group and
show effects of stereotype threat on stereotype relevant tasks.
>their anxiety about confirming the poor stereotype performance on task
impedes their performance
-along with parents, different types of media present overt and covert messages
about intergroup relations.
-e.x of intergroup beliefs people form from media: portrayal of crime in America.
Common belief that African americans are more likely to engage in criminal activity.
-media is less than objective in reporting incidence of crimes committed by blacks.
People of color are more likely to be presented as perpetrators of crime.
-implicit theories: beliefs and heuristics that guide your processing of social info
and help evaluate others.
>our own ideas of what personality characteristics “go together”
-once we’ve categorized someone as having certain characteristics, we’re more
likely to assume that that person has a host of related characteristics.
-some people, entity theorists, think their personality traits are fixed and cant
change. Believe behaviour is consistent, so they should be more likely to infer
related target-personality characteristics because of an isolated behaviour on the
target. Tend to use stereotypes more often in judgement of outgroups, form more
extreme judgements and attribute stereotyped charac. to inborn qualities within the
outgroup individ
-Other people, incremental theorists, say their personality traits are flexible. Believe
behaviour is less predictable
-we tend to reserve our cognitive efforts for instances in which we are motivated to
make accurate assessments of another person (prospective mate or employee).
-we assume our instant impressions of others were fact
-does stereotyping really save cognitive energy? Series of experiments, examined
the ability of participants to do two cognitive tasks at one time, form an impression
of an individ while monitoring a prose package.
>for some people, the impression formation task also included some stereotyped
labels and not for others. If stereotyping does in fact assist in fast judgment, one
should find that people who were given the stereotyping labels would be able to
devote more effort to the paragraph task.
>those who were given the stereotyped labels were able to recall twice as many
personality descriptors for the target and to recall more of the paragraph info than
those given no stereotype information.
-when we’re confronted with a lot of information about a target and you’re required
to make a social judgement about them, you’re more likely to use stereotypes in
your assessment
>but when our cognitive task is simple, we’re less likely to rely on stereotypes in
the assessment bc our cognitive capacity to think carefully about their attributes is
not taxed by other info
-its more important for people to arrive at any evaluation, whether its accurate or
not. Stereotypes are difficult to give up.
-rather than think we use stereotypes to evaluate others, we instead convince our
self that we are fair logical thinkers.
-sometimes the info we get is inconsistent with our stereotype, its perceived as
dissonance arousing bc its threatening to ones self concept
>the person will change the way they think about the validity of the stereotype
inconsistent information.
>use the heuristic that they will only pay attention to info that confirms what they
already believe.
-stereotypes help us anticipate likely motives, attitidues and behavs of others. The
expectations guide our behaviour and our perceptions of social info.
-illusory correlations: we often perceive a relationship b/w variables that are only
weakly correlated or not at all. This can lead to the formation of stereotypes
-when you perceive a distinctive group (outgroup, minority) behaving in a bad way,
you’re more likely to notice that event bc its an unusual occurrence. The co-
occurrence of the group and the undesirable behaviour may lead you tot eh
perception of a link b/w the group and behav.
-illusory correlations also form when the influence of your existing stereotypes of
>when making an assessment about a member of a stereotyped out-group, you
will count on your knowledge of that group.
>e.x you think all older people are grumpy, will tend to notice and remember all
the e.x of grumpy old people you’ve met and not remember the nice ones.
-some people more than others are motivated to form accurate impressions of
others and not rely on stereotypes in their social perceptions
>people can be identified as either perceiving others in a accuracy oriented or
expectancy confirming way
> either they’re concerned with arriving at the most accurate perception of the
person based on their qualities or they’re motivated to perceive people based on the
expectations they have of that individ.
>for the latter, the defensive motivation stems from the need to maintain their
belief of the current societal system of group hierarchy