PSYC12H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 3: Protestant Work Ethic, Anti-Intellectualism, Aversive Racism

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14 Apr 2013
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Chapter 3: Feeling vs. Thinking in the Activation and Application of Stereotypes
Mood
major benefit of the cognitive approach to stereotyping has been the demonstration of the
important influence of expectations about social groups on social judgements and attitudes and
behaviour toward out-groups
research demonstrating that intergroup discrimination can originate from categorization
emotions were thought to contribute importantly to the development and endurance of
stereotypes
affect plays a major role in the way that information about social groups and group members is
processed
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
also influence the extent to which the individual exerts information processing effort
became associated with social-group labels through learning processes
when affect and physiological arousal are associated with group members, they will influence
how information about the outgroup member is interpreted, how the perceiver responds to the outgroup
member, and whether the perceiver tends to interact with members of the target group in the future
Types of Intergroup Affect
incidental affect is affect that is elicited by situations unrelated to the intergroup context
integral affect is affect that is elicited by situations unrelated to the intergroup context and
involves the stereotyped outgroup
can also arise merely from thinking about the outgroup
chronic outgroup affect is when individuals have a rather stable feeling toward the outgroup as
a whole
attitudes have traditionally been viewed as stable, enduring evaluations of an attitude object
an object attitude is anything about which one forms an attitude (e.g., idea, person, object)
the affect associated with the attitude is also an enduring feature of the evaluation of the attitude
object
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
also true when considering enduring attitudes
affect that one feels toward the group, as result of one's enduring attitude toward the outgroup is
chronic outgroup affect
distinct from affective reactions to an interaction with a specific member of the outgroup
although the overt form of hostility and prejudice toward African Americans may be much less
prevalent, prejudice continues to exist in a more subtle form
aversive racism describes the prejudice toward African Americans that characterizes many
White Americans' attitudes
these people truly believe they are egalitarian and regard themselves as nonprejudiced
also possess negative feelings about African Americans
if they can do so in a subtle, easily rationalizable fashion, these individuals may express
negative attitudes toward African Americans yet feel no affective consequences (i.e., guilt, shame,
sadness) from doing so, thereby preserving the self from threatening conduct-related negative affect
differences in physical appearance between Caucasians and African Americans can feel this
negative affect
people in the ingroup are
assumed to be more similar in beliefs
evaluated more favourably
the recipients of more positive behaviour by the perceiver than are members of outgroups
found to be more attractive by the perceiver
social and cultural factors also contribute to the anti-cultural stereotypes of Blacks in the US as
lazy, ignorant, poor, and more likely to commit crimes
Caucasians tend to see Black culture in the US as promoting values that are at odds with the
Protestant work ethic
when a situation threatens to make these negative feelings salient, low-prejudice individuals try
to dissociate themselves from these feelings and often act more positively in ways that will convince
them and others that they are not prejudiced
when people feel negative affect, they are especially likely to describe racial out groups using
unfavourable characteristics
the negative affective state that has been investigated the most is anxiety
commonly experienced by individuals in an intergroup interaction
disruptive effect on the behaviour, thoughts, and feelings of the outgroup member and the
perceiver
lead to increased stereotyping by the perceiver, an avoidance of future intergroup interaction,
and attempts by the perceiver to control others
when there has been minimal contact, and/or the contact has been characterized by conflict, the
individual will tend to feel more anxiety prior to or during the intergroup interaction
anxiety may promote stereotyping of outgroup members by an affective consistency process
(cuing more negative cognitions) or through increased reliance on expectancies (and schema) regarding
outgroup members as a result of a reduction in cognitive capacity
stereotyping may also occur through a combination of each of these two processes
many of the reported causes of emotion in the intergroup context were related to characteristics
of members of the ethnic outgroup
episodic outgroup affect is when people have an affective reaction within an interaction with a
specific outgroup member
can result from the imagined interaction with an individual from the outgroup
can often have a strong impact on an individual’s chronic, enduring outgroup affect, and it is
believed the individual's enduring attitudes toward the outgroup
may be possible to change negative chronic outgroup affect (and hence negative outgroup
attitudes) toward the outgroup by the opposing impact of positive episodic outgroup affect
Incidental Affect
feelings that have no origination associated with the outgroup
incidental affect can subsequently influence an individual's proclivity to use stereotypes in
social judgement
Influence of Positive Affect
positive affect has been shown to reduce the extent of systematic processing
rely on heuristic cues, initial judgements, decisional shortcuts, and other simplifying strategies
more likely to use stereotypes in their judgement of others
exception: when happy people are confronted with outgroup individual who radically diverges
from the outgroup, the happy person has no problem giving up their reliance on stereotypes in making
judgements about that target
newer research suggests that happy people are just not very motivated to expend the cognitive
effort required to avoid using stereotypes in intergroup judgement
if such an effort were to have an effect on the individual's well-being, then the individual would
likely not stereotype
Effects of Negative Affect
angry participants tended to make more stereotypic judgements, participants who were sad did
not differ from neutral-affect participants
Motivational vs. Cognitive-Capacity Deficits
positive mood conveys message that because all is well with their environment, they do not
need to focus on new information
also positive moods may activate the abundant positively valenced material in memory, and this
material then consumes the cognitive capacity of the person
positive moods will tell people to continue their tasks (or cognitive processes) if the mood
reflects the individual's enjoyment (having fun)
positive mood will tell people to stop what they are doing if the mood reflects the level of goal
attainment (goal attained, so stop and relax)
negative moods will tell people to stop when the mood reflects the level of enjoyment (not
having fun), but to continue when it reflects the person's level of goal attainment (goal no attained,
keep working)
Cognition
Implicit Cognition
subliminal messages
subliminal level is to perceive something without being consciously aware of the perception
Implicit Memory
unintentional, nonconsicous forms of retention
explicit memory is conscious recollection of previous experiences
Implicit Stereotyping
whether one will stereotype another may be influenced by previous exposure to information,
information the subject is unaware of at the time of subsequent testing
effect of implicit cognition is demonstrated only when a past experience affects some future
behaviour or thought without the awareness of the subject that this experience has influenced their
thoughts or behaviours
the measure o implicit cognition should not be an explicit measure of the type already discussed
The Implicit Association Test
participants presented with a target concept or category paired with an associated attribute
discrimination
IAT measures associations to a category and gives an estimate of the strength of the association
between the category as a whole, and positivity/negativity
also
priming measures assess the average responses to individual category exemplars