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BodenhausenMacrae1996.PSYC12.docx

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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC12H3
Professor
Michael Inzlicht

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Bodenhausen & Macrae, 1996 PSYC12 Self-Regulation of Intergroup Perception: Mechanisms & Consequences of Stereotype Suppression Sources divergence of perception from reality: - Stereotyping – using a set of social stimuli to make generalizations and other assumptions that positive or negative are greatly exaggerated, untrue most of the time or completely in factual - Cognitive Miser Perspective – use of stereotypes promotes efficiency in coming to a conclusion with the least possible cognitive resources invested that typically may or may not be accurate but that is of secondary importance to that of reducing anxiety produced by not knowing and ambiguity - Primitive categories – sex, race or age - Stereotypic impressions may lead persons who are members of stereotyped groups to experience systematic disadvantages in important contexts such as legal decision making, personnel selection, etc. The Well-Intentioned Cognitive Miser – Mental Dilemmas of Multicultural Societies - Engaging in Stereotyping satisfies many needs, and motivations o Seeing and participating in the perpetuation of a negative stereotype of another social group, it will make one feel better about ourselves because we will be then SUPERIOR – Increased Self Esteem(Tajfel & Turner, 1986) o Justify the social inequities faced by disadvantaged groups by seeing them negatively (Jost &Banji, 1994; Sidanius & Pratto, 1993). o Conserve Mental Resources – (Macrae, Milne, & Bodenhausen, 1994). - Cognitive Miser – Fiske & Taylor 1991 o Human tendency is to SATISFY rather than OPTIMIZE o Easier generic assumptions than spend time and effort getting a complete picture of someone o Accuracy will be favored and cognitive resources be used IF there is a motivational reason to do so o Stereotyping and Classification leads to predictability and orderliness - Several criteria for determining whether a mental process can be characterized as “automatic” (Bargh, 1994). o Occur without the perceiver’s conscious intent or awareness of them o Without the perceiver’s ability to control them o With an efficiency that requires little investment of the perceiver’s limited cognitive resources - Devine (1989) proved that stereotypic association activated in automatic fashion o Dovidio, Evans and Tylelr 1986 – African American stereotypes come up automatically when primed even if you don’t hold such beliefs o Macrae, Milne, and Bodenhausen 1994 – occupational labels such a person’s job impact our stereotypes of them - Mere presence of an unlabeled but potentially classifiable target can produce stereotype activation o Person’s membership in a particular social category is contextually salient o Personal prejudices of perceiver can make stereotype context constantly salient Bodenhausen & Macrae, 1996 PSYC12 - Stereotypes are maintained by processing stereotype-confirming information and ignoring stereotype inconsistent information o Stereotype confirming information is better remembered o Stereotype disconfirming information is neglected - People behaving in or being successful counter to popular stereotypes is attributed to LUCK instead of personal skill - Perceivers may react to stereotyped targets in ways that elicit stereotype-confirming behavior = self-fulfilling prophecy - When seeing someone who completely violates rules of a stereotype, a subtype is created for them so that they may both continue to the maintenance of a stereotype and also not hold stereotypic beliefs about this person and prevent cognitive dissonance - Increasing endorsement of egalitarian standards asserting that members of different ethnic groups are entitled to the same access, opportunities and resources as the dominant majority group but they have been socialized to have stereotypic views and prejudicial feelings for minorities leading to conflicting views and ambivalence - We are uncomfortable with ambivalence especially if we view ourselves as egalitarian but have automatic activation of stereotypes o Low prejudice people – when they see a discrepancy between action and beliefs, they work hard to rectify it by changing their actions  Even those who aren’t low prejudiced may change behavior or overt expression due to social pressure Governing the Society of Mind: Self-Regulation of Mental Processes - What happens when people become aware of the potential for stereotypic bias and want to avoid such influences? o Make direct adjustments to one’s judgement and conclusions in opposition to presumed bias  Example: Think positively of a minority applicant to prevent engaging in stereotyping o Supress stereotypes through active deliberation - Dual Process Model of Thought Control = Wegner et al. o For any control process to be effective, it must be able both to test the status of the environment and to operate on the environment when the test process yields less than satisfactory results o Need something to monitor mental contents (Automatic, unconscious) o another process to operate on undesired thoughts (effortful – therefore resource dependent)  mental distracters that will move attention and mental activation away from unwanted thoughts o Great validity for this model – since it’s an effortful process it may actually result in the views you don’t want  The more you try not to think of something, the more you think about it The Best Laid Plans of Misers and Men – Ironies of Cognitive Self Control Bodenhausen & Macrae, 1996 PSYC12 - Wegner’s model of ironic mental processes o Failure to stay away from unwanted thoughts dependent on the replenishment of limited cognitive resources required for the effortful action of distracting oneself o Key factor that sets the stage for these ironic failures is the effortfulness of the operating processes that strategically directs attention away from unwanted thoughts to any acceptable distracter o Operating process (feature negative) that tries to find distracters, fails if there are other cognitive loads present (time pressure, distraction, preoccupation, affective states, alcohol) or there is no longer sufficient motivation o Automatic effortless monitoring process that seeks to find stereotypic behavior is not affected (feature negative) because it is a easier process o When due to limited resources, operating process may fail to find an appropriate distracter, the monitoring process is still working and it may produce hyperaccessiblity and therefore a rebound effect or great stereotyping may occur than normal!  If the operating process is short circuited however, then the continuing operation of the monitoring process may simply result in REPEATED priming of stereotypic concepts that are ultimately not replaced by distracters  Because monitoring process is looking for the presence of a feature, and while the operating process is looking for the absence of a feature, o Study # 1 – Wegner, Erber and Zanakos  Asked to recall emotional experiences in life, some were told to NOT take on mood (though suppression condition) and others were told to take on feeling and other
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