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Chapter 3

Chapter 3 Psychology of Prejudice

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC12H3
Professor
Michael Inzlicht
Semester
Winter

Description
Chapter 3 – Feeling Versus Thinking in the Activation and Application of Stereotypes 1. Mood 1.1. Affect plays a major role in the way that information about social groups and group members is processed 1.2. Types of Intergroup Affect 1.2.1.Incidental affect – affect that arises in situations unrelated to the intergroup context 1.2.2.Integral affect – affect that originates within the intergroup situation and involves the stereotyped outgroup. This type of affect can also arise from merely thinking about the outgroup 1.2.2.1. The former is defined as affect that is elicited by situations unrelated to the intergroup context, and the latter is affect that is elicited within the intergroup context and involves the stereotyped outgroup 1.2.3.Chronic outgroup affect – One’s stable feeling toward the outgroup 1.2.4.Episodic outgroup affect – one’s affective reaction to a specific member of the outgroup 1.3. Chronic Outgroup Affect 1.3.1.Attitude object – any idea, object, or person about which one forms an attitude 1.3.2.This idea holds true for the notion of outgroup attitudes 1.3.3.Allport defines stereotype as ‘a fixed idea that accompanies a category’ 1.3.4.Because one’s outgroup attitude was believed to be a stable evaluation of the outgroup and its members, it was assumed that any evaluation of the outgroup member in the future, regardless of the context, would be a direct result of the simple recall of the perceiver’s stored evaluation of the outgroup member 1.3.5.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 1.3.6.The affect that one feels toward the outgroup, as a result of one’s enduring attitude toward the outgroup can be termed chronic outgroup affect 1.3.6.1. This affect is different from affective reactions to an interaction with a specific member of the outgroup 1.3.7.Aversive racism – used by Gaertner & Dovidio to describe a type of racism in which the individual believes they are non-prejudiced, but they still harbor negative feelings about the outgroup 1.3.7.1. If people can do this in a rationalizable fashion, these individuals may express negative attitudes toward African Americans yet feel no affective consequences from doing so, thereby preserving the self from threatening conflict-related negative affect 1.3.8.People in ingroups are: 1.3.8.1. 1) assumed to be more similar in beliefs 1.3.8.2. 2) evaluated more favourably 1.3.8.3. 3) the recipients of more positive behaviour by the perceiver than are members of outgroups 1.3.8.4. 4) found to be more attractive by the perceiver 1.3.9.When it comes to low-prejudice individuals, they feel like they possess egalitarian values. When situations arise that makes negative feelings toward outgroups salient, low- prejudiced 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 1.3.10. The most common negative affective state that has been investigated is anxiety, because it is commonly experienced by individuals in an intergroup interaction 1.3.10.1. Anxiety has a disruptive effect on the behaviours, thoughts, and feelings of the outgroup member and the perceiver. This anxiety can also lead to increased stereotyping by the perceiver, an avoidance of future intergroup interaction, and attempts by the perceiver to control others 1.3.10.2. The amount and conditions of intergroup contact determines whether the individual will experience anxiety when interacting with the outgroup 1.3.10.3. When there has been minimal contact, or contact has been characterized by conflict, the individual will tend to feel more anxiety prior to or during the intergroup interaction 1.3.11. Dijker’s research suggests that an important determinant of the type of chronic racial affect that the perceiver feels in the intergroup context is the degree to which the outgroup member is culturally dissimilar from the perceiver 1.3.11.1. 4 main types of emotions: positive mood, anxiety, irritation, and concern 1.3.12. When groups are similar, anxiety will decrease and positive mood increase 1.3.13. When groups are dissimilar, negative mood will increase 1.3.14. Emotions that we feel about the outgroups is related to the characteristics of the outgroups 1.3.15. Episodic Outgroup Affect 1.3.15.1. One’s intergroup-related affect can also be a result of a specific interaction with a specific individual member of the outgroup (or imagined interaction) 1.3.15.2. Episodic interactions with outgroups 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 1.3.16. Incidental Affect 1.3.16.1. Feelings that have no origination associated with the outgroup can be characterized as incidental affect 1.3.16.2. Affect in one context can influence social judgments in another context 1.3.16.3. Then it may be reasonable to suggest that incidental affect can subsequently influence an individual’s proclivity (tendency) to use stereotypes in social judgment 1.3.16.4. Research has shown that a video that ignites incidental sadness has an impact on participants’ subsequent judgments of characteristics associated with outgroups 1.3.16.5. In sum, it appears that affect induced in a context unrelated to the outgroup can have an impact on attitudes toward and judgments about the outgroup 1.4. Influence of Positive Affect 1.4.1.Positive affect appears to influence how people categorize others 1.4.2.Positive affect has been shown to reduce the extent of systematic processing 1.4.3.People who are happy tend to process information less analytically; they rely on heuristic cues, initial judgments, decisional shortcuts, and other simplifying strategies; more likely to use stereotypes in judgments 1.4.4.However, when the happy person meets someone from an outgroup that is radically different from himself, he will give up stereotype to in making judgments 1.4.5.People are more likely to stereotype when they are under increased cognitive constraints due to influences such as distraction, or demands brought on by other complex, simultaneous cognitive processing 1.4.5.1. However, researches have shown that there is little support for the idea that happiness promotes stereotypic thinking by constraining the perceiver’s capacity for more systematic thought 1.5. Effects of Negative Affect 1.5.1.Angry people tend to make more stereotypic judgments 1.5.2.Sad or neutral-affect people did not differ in their use of stereotypes 1.5.3.Mildly depressed/sad person tend to engage in the most systematic and careful cognitive processing of information and is least likely to use stereotypes 1.5.4.Sad people does not show decrease in memory performance, especially when the task is resource intensive 1.6. Motivational versus Cognitive-Capacity Deficit 1.6.1.Positive mood conveys the message that because all is well with their environment, they do not need to focus on new information. Thus, these people may be motivated to maintain their good mood and avoid activity that negates it 1.6.2.Negative moods create a diminished cognitive capacity in the individual. An equally impressive array of experiments support the idea that negative moods affect the individual’s motivation to process information systematically 1.6.3.A research suggests that moods do not have stable implications (as previously mentioned). Rather, they have different meanings depending on the person’s interpretation of the mood 1.6.4.Positive mood can tell people to keep doing what they are doing (if enjoys doing it and goal is not attained), or stop what they are doing if goal is attained 1.6.5.Negative mood can tell people to stop what they are doing (if not enjoys doing it), or keep doing what they are doing (if goal is not attained) 2. Cognition 2.1. Implicit Cognition 2.1.1.Some psychologists believe that cognition occurs outside of awareness 2.1.2.Some advocates within the American Psychology have suggested terms such as ‘subconscious’ and ‘unconscious’ cognitive processes 2.1.3.Many cognitive psychologists now believe that cognitive processes do function outside of consciousness and that these processes can influence overt thoughts and behaviours 2.1.4.Subliminal Messages 2.1.4.1. Subliminal – perception of a stimulus without conscious awareness of perceiving the stimulus 2.1.4.2. Although people are not consciously aware of something, it can still affect their attitudes and behaviours below the level of awareness 2.1.4.3. Research has been conducted on subliminal messages. People were told they are going to either see a self-esteem enhancement tape or a memory
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