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Chapter 1

PSYC12 - Chapter 1.docx

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Michael Inzlicht

PSYC12 – Chapter 1 – Introduction to the study of Stereotyping & Prejudice  Humans have the tendency to form groups – the roots to this serve evolutionary advantages as groups tend to create order  Groups are not unique to humans, animals also form groups (survival benefits)  Psychologically groups also have a major component o Group members tend to favour their own groups (ingroups) over groups which they don’t belong to (outgroups) o Minimal group – assigning random people to group A and group B (simplest way to demonstrate ingroup favouritism)  Negative feelings towards another group or members of another group  prejudice  Believing certain characteristics associated to other groups or members of another group  prejudice  Historically, overt expressions of racial prejudice and intergroup hatred has declined dramatically, racial prejudice and stereotypes have by no means disappeared (implicit prejudice) Defining stereotypes  Lippmann’s “stereotype” – tendency of people to think of someone or something in similar terms (based on a common feature shared by each). According to Lippmann stereotypes tell us what social information in important to perceive and to disregard in our environment. Likewise, much of our information regarding stereotypes comes from our culture of origin  People also viewed stereotypes as a negative, lazy way to perceive social groups  Gordon Allport – the Nature of Prejudice – prejudice is an exaggerated belief associated with a category  All in all, originally people thought stereotypes as something negative, and moved to something more neutral  The social-cognitive definition – an automatic process of categorization, that is inherent in human nature and how they perceive and think about the world  Viewed prejudice as a type of a schema – a cognitive structure that represents knowledge about a concept or type of stimulus, including its attributes and the relations among those attributes  The definition of stereotype we will use is that provided by Ashmore and Del Boca  a set of beliefs about the personal attributes of a group of people  Cultural stereotype – shared or community-wide patterns of believe  Individual stereotype – beliefs held by an individual about the characteristics of a group (the focus of most contemporary researchers)  Some believe that the nature of stereotype is that it is an attitude – a general evaluation of some object. Likewise, attitudes have the ABC components, and most people agree that stereotype refers to the cognitive component of attitudes.  Prejudice – affective component of attitude  Discrimination – behavioural component of attitude, negative behaviour directed towards an individual based on their membership in a group  The definition of stereotype does not have an affective valence (positive/negative component) Defining prejudice  Literally means a prejudgement about something. However, it can also suggest evaluation towards a stimulus (positive or negative). By evaluation it makes it seem like prejudice is an attitude (controversial issue)  Prejudice has also been known as negative affect - Gordon Allport  Prejudice was also seen as an emotion, but the complexity of prejudice and the inability to define emotion caused this notion to be dismissed  If we take the notion that prejudice is an attitude, that would mean that prejudice also has the ABC components of attitude  but it should be remembered that prejudice doesn’t always mean negative, there are also such things as positive prejudices (but our focus is more on the negative) o Affective – anger o Cognitive – beliefs linking hostility to the outgroup o Behavioural – avoidant or hostile  Some researchers also argue that it is not that prejudice is negative emotions, rather it is lack of positive emotions (emergence of positive psychology)  Research has also shown that intergroup interaction therefore is most dependent on “how good people feel, not how well they think of group members” (hinting back to Freud’s aggression-frustration theory)  Research also regards prejudice as attitude-in-context – prejudice is not inflexible, rather it depends on the match between social role and stereotype  power roles from the lecture  Appraisal – a set of cognitions that are attached to a specific emotion.  Self-categorization theory – the notion that people view themselves as members of a social category or group, therefore, when you interact with someone with a different category your own self-category comes into awareness  Subtyping – the prejud
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