PSYC12 t THE PSYCHOLOGY OF PREJUDICE: TEXTBOOK NOTES
Chapter 5: Old Fashioned versus Modern Prejudice
¾ Eventually prejudice was no longer seen as a natural thing; it signified that the individual chose that negative view of certain others,
either through a moral defect, mental laziness, or both.
¾ Therefore, stereotypes were coming to be understood as attitudes that some people endorse but others do not.
¾ Data has indicated that these attitudes (or racism) have become less negative and increasingly positive.
¾ Segregation and discrimination were outlawed and African Americans were being accepted into White American society on many levels.
Are Low-Prejudiced People Really Low-Prejudiced?
¾ Some have questioned the adjective-checklist procedure of Katz and Braly as a misleading measure of the stereotyping landscape. For
example Sullivan et al. (1994) point to several problems with the Katz and Braly procedure, including (1) the subjects were predominantly
White, upper-class males, which limit the generalizability of the data, and (2) the method requires the subject to rely on a rather
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group in question.
¾ This is a limitation because much research suggests that stereotypes are activated automatically upon encountering the stimulus (group
label, or other indicator of the group) and can hold a wealth of affective and other cognitive information that drives the stereotype that
cannot be represented on the adjective checklist.
¾ A technique known as the adjective-generation technique is a good way to ascertain the content of stereotypes at a given point in time.
¾ The differences in words generated from time A to time B can indicate how stereotypes of the target group may be changing.
¾ Some analysis would suggest that some progress has been made in reducing the negative personal beliefs that Caucasians have about
African Americans. But according to Devine and Elliot (1995) unfortunately the stereotypes have not diminished.
¾ Their data suggested that when Caucasians are asked about their knowledge (not personal beliefs) about the stereotypes of African
Americans, their responses indicate a high degree of negativity in the traits selected as stereotypical of African Americans.
¾ These contemporary ratings are virtually identical to the negative adjective rating data collected since 1933. This suggests that although
personal beliefs in negative stereotypes of African Americans appear to have decreased, knowledge of the cultural stereotypes of African
Americans has remained the same.
¾ In other words, Caucasians rather unanimously know about the negative things (and few positive things) that are stereotypically
associated with African American via their early learning from parent or through other exposure to such information in society.
¾ Yet what has seemed to change is their willingness to personally believe, and also overtly express, such negative racial attitudes. In sum,
the available evidence suggests that stereotypes themselves have not changed much over the last century, but the form in which they are
expressed has changed.
¾ According to McConahay, the theory of the Modern Racism asserts that some Whites are ambivalent toward African Americans,
conflicted between their anti-Black feelings and their beliefs that racism and discrimination are wrong.
¾ For modern racists the issue is not whether African Americans should be equal, but how that equality should be implemented in policy,
law, and employment.
¾ As with the symbolic-racism perspective, the theory of modern racism suggest that modern racists have a problem with giving what they
deem special treatment to African Americans, because they believe it violates the work ethic that says that advancement in life should be
¾ Modern racists believe that (1) discrimination is a thing of the past; (2) African Americans are too pushy, trying to get into places where
¾ Modern racists do not consider themselves to be racists, for two reasons. First, they regard racism associated with pre-civil-]PZU^}o-
African Americans are disguised, in order to prevent the dissonance associated with acknowledge the hypocrisy of prejudice and
egalitarian values, as negative attitudes toward anyone who violates what they believe are traditional American values.
¾ They suggest that old-fashioned overt racism has been replaced with what they term symbolic racism.
¾ According to this view, Whites who would be classified as symbolic racists tend to resist changing the racial status quo in all areas of life t
economically, socially, and politically.
Eventually prejudice was no longer seen as a natural thing; it signified that the individual chose that negative view of certain others, either through a moral defect, mental laziness, or both. Therefore, stereotypes were coming to be understood as attitudes that some people endorse but others do not. Data has indicated that these attitudes (or racism) have become less negative and increasingly positive. Segregation and discrimination were outlawed and african americans were being accepted into white american society on many levels. Some have questioned the adjective-checklist procedure of katz and braly as a misleading measure of the stereotyping landscape. For example sullivan et al. (1994) point to several problems with the katz and braly procedure, including (1) the subjects were predominantly. White, upper-class males, which limit the generalizability of the data, and (2) the method requires the subject to rely on a rather. zl schema for the group in question.