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Chapter 2

Chapter 2 Textbook Notes

9 pages51 viewsWinter 2010

Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC12H3
Professor
Michael Inzlicht
Chapter
2

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Chapter Two: Origin and
Maintenance of Stereotypes and
Prejudice
The Formation of Stereotypes
Categorization
Stereotypes were no longer regarded as the product of lazy thinking by the uneducated or
those with moral deficiencies
Researchers had taken Allport (1954) lead and now regard stereotypes as a natural
consequences of cognition
Why We Categorize
When we encounter a person, we tend to automatically assess that person on the basis of
our perception of that persons features
Why do we categorize?
oThe reason is that humans have a limited-capacity cognitive system that cannot
simultaneously process all the available information in our social environment
oBecause we want to understand people and anticipate behaviour of others,
humans developed a way around that
We categorize people (and object, idea, etc) on the basis of shared features
or even shared time and space
Based on Aristotles principle of association- we assume that things that
are similar on the basis of one feature or because they occur together will
likely have other notable similarities on a number of dimensions
Ex). Blond-hair people- are fun people, tend to attract fun people,
are more likely to be involved in fun activities or the combination of
the three
Types of Categorization
When perceive an individual- classify that person along a few board categories-race,
gender and age
oMajor ways that we first categorize someone because these are the most immediate
and obvious features of individual- also yield much information about useful
distinctions in social behaviour between those in different groups called the
basic/primitive category
Basic categories are used so often in perceiving people that they are central points around
which stereotypes develop
oBeing exposed to a face of a white or black person or words associated with a
gender group (nurse, mechanic, white or black), for example can instantaneously
evoke the associated cognitions, beliefs, and feelings one has for that group (occurs
within milliseconds)
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Thinking of the category name (women) automatically evokes the associated stereotypes,
however perceiving a face requires the individual to make a categorization, and the
categorization can fall on any of a number of different salient dimensions(occupation,
gender, age, race, etc,)
oMacrase and his colleagues suggest that the way the person categorizes a picture
of an individual depends on the perceivers motives, cognitions, and affect-only
when the perceiver wants to quickly evaluate the target in the picture do
stereotypes become activated as a useful means of arriving at an attitude toward
the target
Ingroups and Outgroups
Groups form get together for occasion, or we have a task to do, or share a common
interest
One of most basic ways we partition people in our social environment is into ingroups
(groups to which we belong) and outgroups (groups to which we do not belong; Allport
1954)
oOnes Ingroup can be numerous
How you partition people in these groups depend on your current, salient
motives, fears, foals and expectations
The way we category people depends on the different situation that we are in, if we are at
a concert the normative behaviour would be to jump up and down, and such behaviour i
will not remember because it is normal, whereas in the office if a professor does the same
behaviour which is not normative to that salient then I would remember such behaviour
and categorize him based on such behaviour.
Taylor and colleagues( 1981)
oDemonstrated the effect of ones salient groups on perception and memory for
social information
These researchers found that when participants were exposed to a
discussion group for black American and white, participants were
generally accurate at recalling the race of the person who made a
particular comment but were less accurate at specifying the particular
individual who made the statement
It appears that people tend to perceive and remember the
information in terms of race categories, and not in terms of the
individual identities
Individuals part of the outgroup are perceived to share similar characteristics, motives
and other features
oWhen it comes to our ingroups- we tend to think that our groups comprise unique
individuals who happen to share one or two common features (occupation)
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Outgroup=all alike
Ingroup= Different as snowflakes
Ingroup bias (Favouritism)- the tendency to favour, and have positive affect for,
members of ones own group, and to attribute more positive characteristics to ones
ingroups than outgroups
Outgroup homogeneity- The belief that members of outgroups are more similar to each
other than are members of ones ingroups(they all look the same)
Perceiving outgroups as all alike, and our ingroups as diverse help satisfy two major
goals
o1).We greatly simplify our social environment by categorizing others in that way
o2).Enhance our self-concept by thinking that we do not belong to a homogeneous,
cookie cutter type of group in which all members are similar in many dimensions
rather we attribute to individuality
Outgroup derogation-favouring our ingroups, we also tend to put down, or attribute
negative characteristics to outgroups.
They do not readily accept negative characteristic of the outgroups
In the case that the more an outgroup is seen as homogeneous, the greater the likelihood
for perceivers to use group or stereotype labels to process information about the outgroup
and its members.
Exposure to members of a stereotyped outgroup can lead to either a more homogeneous
(more stereotyped) or heterogeneous (more positive) view of the outgroup depending on the
context
Henderson-King and Nisbett(1996)
o White males would react to a white or black American couple having an
argument or a neutral conversation
Wanted to find out how this reaction would affect their interaction with a
subsequent white or black confederate who asked for directions
Results: After watching black couple argue, participants interacted with
the Black confederate for a short period of time (showing avoidance
behaviour)
Similarly they found that when white participant were exposed to an
African American being rude to the experimenter, they were more likely to
stereotype African Americans and avoid further contact with a black
person
Tajfel and his colleges(1971)
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